Girls protest schools closure in Paktia; Taliban arrest 18


According to eyewitnesses and APW sources, the Taliban yet again shut down schools for girls above the sixth grade on Saturday in Paktia. The schools had briefly opened following an attempt of intervention by tribe elders and school principals. 
Four girls’ schools above grade six in the provincial capital of Paktia Gardez and one in the Samkani area opened up earlier this month without official approval from the Taliban Ministry of Education. 
High on the heels of the protest, the Taliban arrested 18 of those girls and raided the house of one of the girls who organized the rally in Gardez city. Her father and brothers were also detained. A family member confirmed they were all taken to the Taliban’s intelligence department.
All of them were released on Saturday. 
The Taliban de facto administration spokespersons and Education Ministry officials are not available for comment regarding the detention of girls and closing of schools for the third time. 
In Afghanistan, a year after the Taliban snatched power, teenage girls are still forbidden from attending school and women are obligated to cover their whole bodies in public, displaying just their eyes. Despite early promises to the Afghan nation, the hard-liner circles still seem to be in control of the Taliban regime, severely restricting women’s and girls’ access to work and education.