According to films published by Afghanistan’s new authorities, the Taliban has imprisoned an Afghan model and three others for allegedly ‘disrespecting’ Islam and the Quran. The well-known model, named Ajmal Haqiqi, who is recognised for his fashion displays, modelling events, and YouTube videos, allegedly appeared shackled in a light brown jail uniform – in the footage published by the Taliban.
According to reports, in a video clip, the model was seen chuckling as his colleague Ghulam Sakhi — who is known to have a speech impediment that he employs for comedy — recited the verses of the Quran in Arabic in a funny tone. As a result, the Taliban imprisoned Haqiqi and his colleagues, claiming that ‘no one is permitted to criticise Quranic passages or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad’.
Following their arrest, Amnesty International asked the Taliban to free Haqiqi and his colleagues ‘immediately and unconditionally’. The Taliban have ‘undertaken a flagrant attack on the right to free expression’ by holding ‘Haqiqi and his colleagues and coercing them into apologising’. Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August of last year, they have implemented a number of stringent policies, notably those aimed at restricting the rights of women and minorities.
Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership ordered all-female TV presenters to conceal their faces on live last month. The ruling was described as ‘final and non-negotiable’ in the statement. Several female broadcasters and presenters then shared photographs on social media of themselves wearing face masks while delivering shows. Previously, the Taliban had enacted a ‘gender segregation’ scheme in western Herat province, where men and women are not permitted to sit together in restaurants, even if they are husband and wife.