20 Taliban members released from Iran prison

Twenty Taliban members who were arrested from Makki Grand Mosque in Zahedan, Iran, on charges of attempts to “rebellion and terrorist activities” were released from a prison in Zahedan, Iran, on Thursday, a source from Afghanistan’s Nimroz province said.

Those released were sent to Nimroz province through the Abrisham border crossing on the same day, said the source.

Another source aware of the matter said the 20 people were arrested on charges of “attempts of disturbance” at the mosque.

According to the sources, the 20 Taliban members were released after Afghanistan’s embassy in Tehran was handed over to the Taliban government earlier this month.

“Mostly students from the Makki Mosque were seen among those released,” said a source who works at the border crossing. “They had spent one month in custody and were released after the Afghanistan consulate (in Zahedan) was handed over to Taliban.”

But the Taliban’s head of foreign communication in Nimroz, Mohammad Yar Haqyar, said that “20 students of religious scholars and immigrants” who did not have legal documents were released after efforts by the consulate in Zahedan.

He said 50 more would be released within the next three days.

Haqyar said 70 Taliban members were in custody in Iran for the past month, 20 of whom were released.

Meanwhile, Sediqullah Nusrat, Taliban’s head of migrants and repatriation department in Ninmroz, said those who were released were handed over to the Taliban government.

He said the 20 people are not in good health condition and that they have been sent to a health center with the help of International Organization for Migration (IOM).