An Afghan model-YouTuber, Ajmal Haqiqi, along with three of his colleagues, has been arrested by the Taliban, accusing them of disrespecting Islam and the Quran. According to Amnesty International, an NGO that focuses on human rights, the Kabul-based social media influencer posted a video on his YouTube channel last week. In it, Quranic verses were allegedly used in a humorous manner by him and his three other colleagues.
They were seen laughing as one of his colleagues, in a comical voice, recited verses of the Quran in Arabic. Later, on June 5, another video was posted by Haqiqi, in which he was seen apologizing for the previous one, the NGO stated.
However, as per Amnesty International, he and three of his colleagues were arrested on charges of "insulting Islamic sacred values" by the Taliban's General Directorate of Intelligence on June 7 and later that day a video 'confession' of Haqiqi was released where he again apologized.
A statement was released by Amnesty International on June 8 that partly read, "The Taliban must immediately and unconditionally release the YouTubers and end their continued censorship of those who wish to freely express their ideas."
"Restrictions to the right to freedom of expression must be clearly provided by law and be strictly necessary and proportionate to a legitimate aim. International human rights law does not permit restrictions of freedom of expression simply on the grounds it has the potential to offend or insult nor for the protection of religious beliefs or the religious sensibilities of their adherents. This incident is a classic example of how the Taliban is creating a climate of fear in Afghanistan by using arbitrary arrests and coercion to force people into silence," it continued.