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  |   Politics


Afghanistan: Taliban arrest Afghan fashion model, three colleagues for 'insulting' Islam, Quran

VOA / Wikimedia Commons

This week, the Taliban insurgent group arrested and detained a male Afghan fashion model and his three colleagues. The group accused the model and his colleagues of disrespecting Islam and the holy book Quran.

In videos shared by the insurgent group, Afghan model Ajmal Haqiqi was arrested by the Taliban, appearing in handcuffs in the videos shared by the group’s intelligence agency on Twitter Tuesday.

In a video that has circulated, Haqiqi was seen laughing at his colleague Ghulam Sakhi, who uses his speech impediment in his humor, reciting verses from the Quran in Arabic in a comical tone.

The Taliban later released a video of Haqiqi and his colleagues wearing the Afghan prison uniforms and apologizing to the Taliban government and the religious scholars.

“No one is allowed to insult Quranic verses or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad,” said the caption of the post that featured the video.

The human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday issued a statement, calling for the insurgent group to release Haqiqi and his colleagues “immediately and unconditionally.”

To note, the group has recorded several arbitrary arrests and detentions by the Taliban, which often come with coerced statements in an effort to quash dissent in the country and discourage others from expressing their stances.

Samira Hamidi of Amnesty International’s South Asia campaign condemned the arrests, saying that in detaining Haqiqi and his colleagues, the insurgent group has made “a blatant attack on the right to freedom of expression.” Hamidi also criticized the Taliban’s “continued censorship of those who wish to freely express their views.”

Meanwhile, Germany’s top diplomat Annalena Baerbock said Tuesday during her visit to Pakistan that the Taliban will be the cause of Afghanistan’s “downfall” and bring added suffering and hunger.

In a joint press conference with her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Baerbock said that any economic aid to the insurgent group should be accompanied by improvements in human rights.

Baerbock said the Taliban is “leading the country into a downfall” and that Afghan parents “do not know how to feed their children. Girls are deprived of their right to education. Women are almost excluded from participation in public life. Dissenting voices are brutally suppressed. The economy is grinding to a halt.”

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