Taliban arrest Afghan model for ‘insulting’ Islam

The Taliban have arrested a popular Afghan model and three of her colleagues, accusing them of disrespecting Islam and the Koran, according to videos released by the new Afghan leadership.

Ajmal Haqiqi is popular in Afghanistan for his fashion shows, YouTube clips and modeling events. He appeared handcuffed in videos posted to Twitter by the Taliban intelligence agency on Tuesday.

As AP reports, in a widely circulated and controversial video, Haqiqi is seen laughing as his colleague Ghulam Sakhi – who is known to have a speech impediment which he uses for humor – recites verses from the Quran in Arabic, in a comical voice. ”

After making arrests, the Taliban released a video of Haqiqi and his colleagues standing in prison uniforms and apologizing to the Taliban government and religious scholars. The video was accompanied by a tweet in the Dari language, saying: “No one is allowed to insult the Quranic verses or the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad”.

Later Wednesday, Amnesty International released a statement urging the Taliban to “immediately and unconditionally” release Haqiqi and his colleagues, as reported by AP.

AP also reported that in Kabul, Taliban officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and it was unclear what measures the model and her colleagues face under the Taliban-run justice system. The families of the arrested models also could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ajmal Haqiqi

Since returning to power last August in the final weeks of the withdrawal of US troops from the country, the Taliban have imposed strict measures under their harsh interpretation of Islamic law, including restricting the rights of women and minorities.

The Taliban consider criticism and anything perceived as disrespectful to Islam to be a punishable crime. According to AP, Amnesty said that since taking power, the Taliban “has used intimidation, harassment and violence against anyone who has expressed support for human rights or modern values, especially human rights defenders. human beings, activists, journalists and academics, among others. .”

Joseph E. Golightly