Amnesty International demands immediate release of detained education activists in Afghanistan

Amnesty International is urging the immediate and unconditional release of Ahmad Fahim Azimi and Seddiqullah Afghan, two advocates for girls’ education and members of the Afghan Girls’ Robotics Team, detained by the Taliban.

The organization, in a statement on Friday, called their detention arbitrary and demanded their prompt release.

Azimi and Afghan were arrested Oct. 7 from their office in Kabul’s Karte Chahar, PD3, by Taliban intelligence. They are being held over accusations of activities opposing Taliban authority.

After 72 days in GDI District 40 detention, the Taliban moved them to Pul-e-Charkhi Prison, Amnesty International reported. The group stated the detainees were denied a fair trial, faced retaliation, and underwent physical and mental torture, including sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.

The activists were not allowed a lawyer during interrogation or medical support, the human rights organization said.

Their personal items, including six laptops, passports, cash, flash drives with educational content, work permits, and information on teachers and students, were seized during their detention.

Amnesty International also noted that the detention of Azimi and Afghan violates international human rights laws.