The arrest of the educational activist and founder of PenPath, Matiullah Wesa, has caused reactions inside and outside Afghanistan.
Former President Hamid Karzai said on Twitter that the activities of the PenPath have benefited the country.
“I consider the activities of Matiullah Wesa and PenPath a benefit to the country and I call on the interim government of the Islamic Emirate to spare no effort for his release and even to provide (Wesa's organization) with essential help to extend their activities and development,” he said.
On Tuesday, Abdul Haq Humad, director of publication of the Ministry of Information and Culture, said on Twitter that Matiullah Wesa’s actions were “suspicious” and that a “government has the right to call in such people for clarification.”
The US Chargé d’Affaires, Karen Decker, said that there were “multiple disturbing reports of Afghans being held for participating in peaceful protest, supporting Afghan aspirations. Let Matiullah Wesa & others work unhindered — consult them, don’t incarcerate them. Their voices reflect the will of many Afghans.”
“The arrest of Mr. Wesa means the violation of fundamental human rights and the fundamental freedom of speech and the restriction of civil rights activists,” said Sayed Jawad Sijadi, university instructor.
The UN Human Rights spokesperson Jeremy Laurence in a statement called for the “immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained.”
“No one should be detained for speaking out in defense of their fundamental rights and the rights of others,” he said.
Wesa’s relatives said that his activities were aimed to help female students who are deprived of education.
“The arrest of my brother is unclear and it is not justifiable. I know my brother. He and I struggled together and he is a great, virtuous and pure personality. I want the leaders of the Islamic
Emirate to release my brother as soon as possible and return him home with respect sound and safe,” said Ataullah Wesa, brother of Matiullah Wesa.
On Monday, the relatives of Matiullah Wesa told TOLOnews that he had been arrested by Islamic Emirate forces.
Wesa has recently launched many campaigns to promote education for girls and boys.
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