Several hours after learning of the incident, a Taliban spokesman confirmed his arrest. Zabihullah Mujahid Jalal was accused on Twitter, among other things, of inciting against the Taliban government.
The professor, who belongs to Tajiks, had discussed live on November 21 with a Taliban spokesman. He denounced the Taliban’s crackdown on critics and called his spokesman a “calf,” a serious insult in the country. The law and political science teacher was also a regular guest on television debates in previous years and was known for his outspoken criticism, which was previously also directed against former presidents Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani.
The video of the discussion ended online and went viral. Jalal praised his bravery. However, several people also expressed concern for his safety. “The Taliban have never tolerated criticism and freedom of expression,” said Patricia Gusman of Human Rights Watch, which has called for the professor’s immediate release.
The Taliban took power in Kabul in mid-August last year after the withdrawal of foreign forces. Since then, several former government officials have been killed or arrested.
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