Matiullah Wesa, an activist who advocated for education, detained by Taliban

Matiullah Wesa, an activist who advocated for education for all and the founder of Pen Path, was detained by the Taliban near his home in Kabul’s Khoshal Khan area on Monday afternoon, his brother confirmed.

Wesa was returning home from Wais Qarani Mosque near their home in the Khoshal Khan area in the west of Kabul when he was arrested by the Taliban, said his brother Ataullah Wesa.

Taliban’s intelligence had told their family that he was not arrested but his brother said that the Taliban arrested Wesa.

His arrest faced a harsh reaction from Afghans within and outside the country who called his detainment “another attempt by the Taliban against education,” especially girls’ education.

Over the past 18 months, Wesa has been advocating for education for all, especially for girls, who are deprived of schooling for the past one and a half years.

This comes as new school year began in Afghanistan this week, but secondary schools for girls were not opened. A group of women held a protest in Kabul on Sunday to protest the continued closure of schools for girls, but their protest was stopped and three women protesters were arrested by the Taliban. The protesters were released on Monday, but the move faced national and international reactions.