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Matiullah Wesa, founder of Afghan girls’ school project, arrested in Kabul

His brother confirmed his arrest,saying he was picked up outside a mosque after prayers.

Matiullah Wesa, the founder of the Afghan girls’ school project, is reported to have been arrested in Kabul.

A prominent activist for girls’ education, founder and leader of the Pen Path charity, was detained by the Taliban authorities in Kabul, his brother and the United Nations confirmed on Tuesday.

Wesa’s brother said he was picked up outside a mosque after prayers on Monday evening.

“Matiullah had finished his prayers and came out of the mosque when he was stopped by some men in two vehicles,” Samiullah Wesa told AFP. “When Matiullah asked for their identity cards, they beat him and forcefully took him away.”

“Matiullah Wesa, head of PenPath and advocate for girls’ education, was arrested in Kabul Monday,” the UN mission in Afghanistan said in a tweet.

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“UNAMA calls on the de facto authorities to clarify his whereabouts, the reasons for his arrest and to ensure his access to legal representation and contact with family,” it added.

Top diplomats and human rights groups, including a senior UN envoy and Amnesty International, have called for Matiullah Wesa’s immediate release.

Wesa set up Pen Path with his brother in 2009.

At first, the Wesa brothers worked with religious scholars and tribal elders to build community support for educating all children, set up schools in villages where there was no government education, and sent mobile classrooms to the most remote areas.


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