UNAMA calls for end to ‘arbitrary arrests’ of activists in Afghanistan

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has urged the Taliban to halt arbitrary arrests of activists and called for the immediate release of those detained.

UNAMA expressed concern Wednesday about the continued detention of girls’ education advocates Ahmad Fahim Azimi and Sadiqullah Afghan, along with women’s rights activist Munizha Sediqi, who have been in custody since October.

The agency emphasized the importance of upholding rights to family, legal representation, care, and a fair trial.

Azimi and Afghan, noted for their work with a girls’ robotics team, were moved to Pul-e-Charkhi prison from a Taliban intelligence facility in Kabul on Dec. 27, relatives said. The men have reportedly been denied legal representation, a right guaranteed by Afghanistan’s penal code.

Arrested on Oct. 17 in Kabul’s Kart-e-Char district, Azimi has been a vocal critic of the Taliban’s education restrictions for women and girls, which their families believe led to their arrest.

Sediqi was detained by the Taliban in Kabul’s Kart-e-Naw area on Oct. 9.