The European Council announced on Tuesday it has sanctioned nine individuals and three entities under its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, including two acting ministers from Afghanistan.
According to the EU Council, two acting "Taliban" ministers-- for Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadim and for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, Mohammad Khalid Hanafi--who are "behind the decrees banning women from higher education and gender-segregated practices in public spaces," are among the nine sanctioned individuals.
“The listed individuals and entities will now be subject to an asset freeze in the EU. In addition, listed individuals will be subject to a travel ban to the EU. Moreover, persons and entities in the EU will be prohibited from making funds available, either directly or indirectly, to those listed,” the EU said in a statement.
The decision announced by the Ministry of Higher Education last year to ban female students from going to universities has faced strong reactions from the international community.
Meanwhile, speaking at a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, Nadim said that the closure of the universities is not permanent.
“There is a certain issue that all the media is focusing on. That is the issue of female education. In this regard, since the start, there has been no word about a ban but it was a temporary decision,” he said.
Without naming a particular side, Nadim said that there are individuals who “don’t consider the situation and condition of Afghanistan, but rather focus on their wishes and recommendations—about why the (universities) have been closed-- and this harms the mindset of the people.”