Family says no news on lecturer Ismail Mashal days after his arrest

Ismail Mashal standing near his cart in the west of Kabul on Feb. 1, 2023.

days after the arrest of Ismail Mashal, a university lecturer and activist, by the Taliban, his family said they have no clarity of his current situation.

Mashal was arrested six days ago on the second day of his campaign to distribute books to people while wheeling his “library cart” through Kabul in a bid to generate awareness around the ban on education for women and girls.
Back in December, Mashal tore up his education certificates on a live TV show in protest against the Taliban’s ban.

One of Mashal’s relatives said on condition of anonymity that Mashal had been arrested for no reason.

He said they have visited Taliban’s intelligence office many times over the past six days but there is no news about him.

“We are concerned about his situation. We haven’t received an answer from security agencies and we don’t know where he is and how his situation is,” the relative said.

Mashal’s family asked human rights organizations to take steps to secure his release.

Taliban has confirmed Maqshal’s arrest and accused him of conspiring against the regime.

The United Nations, Amnesty International and other organizations have called for the immediate release of Mashal from Taliban custody and have called his arrest an act against freedom of expression in Afghanistan.