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Campaigner for Afghan girls’ education arrested

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Kabul: An Afghan human rights activist who has campaigned for girls’ education has been arrested in Kabul.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said Matiullah Wesa, founder and president of Pen Path — a non-governmental group that travels across Afghanistan with a mobile school and library — was arrested in Kabul on Monday.

Local reports said Mr Wesa was arrested after his return from a trip to Europe.

The UN urged authorities in Kabul to clarify Mr Wesa’s whereabouts, the reasons for his arrest and ensure he has access to legal representation and contact with his family.

The Afghan interim administration has barred girls from school beyond the sixth grade and women from universities, saying there are perceived problems including around female Muslim dress.

Meanwhile officials have said they are undertaking work to reopen schools but have not given a time frame.

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