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UN demands clarification on Afghan education activist’s arrest

The UN urged the Taliban to clarify Matiullah Wesa’s whereabouts Tuesday after the prominent advocate for girls’ education was arrested.

Wesa was arrested Monday in Kabul but the Taliban has not said why he is in custody.

”We call for the de facto authorities to clarify his whereabouts, the reasons for his arrest and to ensure he has access to legal representation as well as contact with his family,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

Dujarric said the UN mission in Afghanistan has been in contact with relevant de facto authorities regarding Wesa’s case as well as other activists and journalists who remain in detention.

The founder of PenPath has been campaigning for girls’ right to education through his organization since the Taliban regime barred women and girls from attending school.

The Taliban’s return to power in 2021 followed by the disruption of international financial assistance has left the worn-torn country in economic, humanitarian and human rights crises.

Women and girls have been deprived of their rights, including the right to education, and they have disappeared from public life.

Thousands of women have since lost their jobs or were forced to resign from government institutions and the private sector.

Girls have been prevented from attending middle and high schools. Many women have demanded that their rights be reinstated by taking to the streets, protesting and organizing campaigns.

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