Taliban Frees Matiullah Wesa, a Prominent Champion for Girls’ Education in Afghanistan


After spending seven months in prison, Matiullah Wesa, an Afghan rights campaigner advocating for girls’ education, has been released by Taliban authorities. Wesa, who had been arrested in March for “propaganda against the government,” was freed on Thursday and is now on his way home. Although his release is seen as a positive step, the UN’s top expert on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, emphasized that there are still many other activists detained by the Taliban who need to be released. Wesa, the founder of the non-profit organization Pen Path, had dedicated over a decade to promoting education, reopening schools, and establishing libraries in rural areas. Despite the Taliban’s restrictive measures against girls and women, Wesa vowed to continue his efforts. His arrest, along with the erosion of press freedoms in the country, has sparked concerns from international organizations about the Taliban’s crackdown on peaceful activism and the lack of freedom in Afghanistan.


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