Taliban Arbitrarily Detains University Professor Rasoul Parsi Who Aired Views Critical of The Group


The latest: In another case of arbitrary detention, Rasoul Parsi, a university lecturer and religious analyst, has been arrested in Kabul by the Taliban intelligence directorate as per sources.


Go deeper:

  • Sources said that the Taliban imprisoned Parsi for criticizing the group about 20 days ago from Kabul and so far, his fate remains unknown.
  • On social media, Parsi had been blunt in criticizing the restrictions and violence under the Taliban regime.
  • Social media users have started a campaign to free Rasoul Parsi. They called on international organizations and human rights organizations to hold talks with the Taliban to release Parsi.
  • They added that Parsi’s life is in danger.
  • Rasoul Parsi was formerly a professor at the Faculty of Sharia at Herat University and has been living in Kabul for some time.
  • He has been trained in religious studies in his hometown of Herat.
  • The Taliban have not yet commented on the university professor’s detention.


Zoom out: The arrest comes close on the heels of another high-profile arrest of an education activist in Afghanistan, Matiullah Wesa. In fact, in reaction to Wesa’s arrest, the head of the Taliban’s Ministry of Information and Culture’s publications has said that his actions were suspicious and that the Taliban had the right to ask for explanations from such individuals.

  • Abdul Haq Hammad, head of publications at the Taliban’s Ministry of Information and Culture, posted a tweet he didn’t not know the reason for the arrest, but it must be justified.
  • The arrest of Matiullah Wesa has been met with widespread domestic and foreign reactions. The head of Women’s division at the Human Rights Watch responded to the arrest and said that it was time to accept that “constructive engagement” with the Taliban would not work and that other options should be explored.
  • Heather Barr said that Wesa’s detention was evidence of the Taliban’s continued and intensifying crackdown on girls’ access to education and freedom of expression.
  • France too called for his immediate release from the Taliban’s detention. The French foreign ministry statement said that the arrest Wesa was a continuation of “violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms” by the Taliban.
  • The French Foreign Ministry added that “no society can positively develop by denying women’s rights”.
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