Pakistani female education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai urged the Taliban government to release Matiullah Wesa who was recently arrested in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Noble laureate spoke out against Wesa’s arrest, calling it an assault on education. Malala’s call to release Wesa highlights the ongoing struggle for the right to education in Afghanistan, particularly for girls and young women, particularly in the face of Taliban rule.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Malala criticized the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education and their arrest of education champions like Wesa. She urged the Taliban to release him and all those who have been imprisoned for educating children.
Remember that Wesa had been running mobile schools and libraries in Afghanistan to provide education to both boys and girls.
According to Wesa’s brother, the 30-year-old education activist had been receiving threats for some time due to his activities for Afghan girls’ education under his organization, PenPath. His house was also reportedly raided during his arrest, although the government has not provided details on the incident.
Wesa was one of the most prominent education activists in Afghanistan, campaigning for girls’ right to study since the Taliban barred female education in 2021. On the day of his arrest, he had tweeted a photo of women volunteers for PenPath asking for Islamic rights to education for their daughters.
Wesa was reportedly stopped by a group of men in two vehicles after finishing his prayers at a mosque. When he asked for their identity cards, they beat him and forcibly took him away, according to his brother.
It is to be mentioned here that after the Taliban overtake Afghanistan there’s a challenging environment for women and girls, with many still facing discrimination, violence, and limited access to modern education and employment opportunities.