The Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence has arrested Ajmal Haqiqi, a YouTuber from Afghanistan, and three of his colleagues on charges of “insulting Islamic sacred values.”
Four of the young activists are handcuffed in a video released on the Taliban’s intelligence agency’s Twitter handle, with Ajmal Haqiqi confessing to “promoting indecency and lewdness, and insulting Quran verses.”
One of Haqiqi’s colleagues, Gholam Sakhi, who was once addicted to drugs and claimed to have a “mental condition,” recited verses from the Qur’an in a humorous voice in a video posted by Haqiqi’s YouTube channel, where Sakhi sings and dances.
Haqiqi laughs in that widely shared video as Sakhi mimics recitations in a humorous voice. Sakhi’s conversational style is noted for being funny and amusing.
Ajmal Haqiqi and Gholam Sakhi appeared in a second video two days later, apologizing for his colleague’s actions and calling it a mistake, claiming that he had a “mental disorder,” and that “the mistake is not going to happen again.”
“No one is allowed to insult or ridicule the verses of the Qur’an, the Prophet’s hadiths, or Islamic sanctities under the rule of the Islamic system,” the Taliban intelligence agency wrote on Twitter. Those who have recently insulted and disrespected the Qur’an’s holy verses; “They are arrested.”
Ajmal Haqiqi, an Afghan model, stated in the confession that the previous administration supported him to promote indecencies and foreign culture.
He says in his video that he insulted the holy values and sacred, and is ready to accept any judgment of the Taliban court. He appears to read his confession from the script.
He also says to have marketed and promoted his YouTube profile using a mentally ill person named Gholam Sakhi.
The Taliban has detained journalists and critics of the group, including human rights activists, since regaining control of Afghanistan.
The Taliban had previously released a video of a number of detained protester women’s confessions, which sparked outrage.
The Taliban has been accused of imposing harsh censorship on free media, as well as arrest and torture of journalists.