Several people have been arrested or detained for speaking out since the Taliban took control of the country in August last year.

Since the Taliban took over on August 15, 2021, several journalists, Muslim scholars and activists have been arrested or detained just for being critical of Afghanistan’s new government. 

One of the most recent arrests was made on January 9. Faizullah Jalal, a professor at Kabul University, was picked up by police after he lashed out at the Taliban’s rule during a debate on Afghanistan’s largest television network, ToloNews. 

He called Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, a “calf”, an Afghan insult for unintelligent people. 

The arrest sparked condemnation across the country with many calling for his release. 

This is not the only arrest since the group’s takeover. At least 31 journalists have been detained or arrested by the Taliban since August, according to the journalists’ association.

Here is a list of people taken into custody each month. It will be updated monthly.

January:

Sources confirmed to Afghanistan’s news website Hasht-e Subh that the Taliban arrested Mawlawi Din-Mohammad Azimi, a former deputy head of the Electoral Complaints Commission.

His relatives said he was arrested on January 6 in Kabul. It is still not known why he was detained.

December: 

On December 5, Taliban fighters stopped a press conference by Afghan lawyers in Kabul and  detained  several members of the bar who had gathered to speak against the Taliban takeover of the bar association. They were, however, released a couple of hours later.

READ MORE: Taliban arrests popular Afghan professor Faizuallah Jalal

On December 27, Mohammad Arif Noori, the founder and owner of Noorin TV, one of Afghanistan’s private television networks, was taken from his home in Kabul by the Taliban, according to his son Roman Noori. He was released two days later without explanation. 

October:

A freelance journalist Sadaqat Ghorzang was assaulted by a Taliban fighter and his camera thrown into a river near the Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan on October 25, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Ghorzang was on an assignment for ToloNews.

On October 28, Taliban fighters pulled Zahidullah Husainkhil, director of the privately-owned station Radio Mahaal, out of his car and assaulted him with the butts of their rifles. He was brought to a local police station where he was held for three hours before release, the CPJ reported. 

September:

On September 7, the Taliban arrested several journalists for covering anti-Taliban protests in Kabul. Among those arrested were Waheed Ahmady, ToloNews’ cameraperson, and Bais Hayat, a journalist with Ariana News.

Local journalist Sami Jahesh, along with cameraman Samim, were also detained by the Taliban for covering the protests. 

READ MORE: Afghanistan seeks humanitarian aid without 'political bias'

Two other journalists, Zaki Daryabi and Neamatullah Naqdi, who work for the privately-owned Etilaat Roz newspaper - which also broadcasts video news on a YouTube channel - were also brutally assaulted.  Both reporters were hospitalised with  severe injuries to their backs and faces. They were released on September 8.

On September 12, Dr. Fahima Rahmati, a female civil society activist in southern Kandahar province said the Taliban entered her house and picked up five people.

Rahmati, also the head of Hope Foundation, said in a video message on Facebook that she, along with her female family members, were beaten and assaulted, adding that the Taliban arrested five men, including two of her brothers, her brother-in-law and a neighbour. 

August:

The Taliban arrested Maulvi Mohammad Sardar Zadran, the former head of the National Council of Religious Scholars of Afghanistan, on August 31.  

He had called for resistance against the group’s insurgency. He was photographed as he was blindfolded and his hands tied together.

Source: TRT World