The Taliban freed two American hostages in Afghanistan, the U.S. State Department reported on Tuesday. This came the day after the Taliban came under fire for its ban on women attending colleges and universities.
According to State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the Taliban’s actions were interpreted as a goodwill gesture. They had nothing to do with a prisoner or detainee exchange. No monetary transactions occurred.
According to The Washington Post, which cited unnamed officials, the two freed Americans landed in Qatar on Tuesday.
Both individuals’ identities were kept under wraps. Price stated that he could not provide further information about the two Americans, due to confidentiality restrictions.
Price, in his daily news conference, claimed the United States is persistently pressing the Taliban to free any American citizens who are still being imprisoned in Afghanistan. Still, he refused to specify who those citizens could be or how many are being kept.
US condemns, Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities, to keep secondary schools closed to girls, & to continue to impose other restrictions on women & girls in Afghanistan to exercise their human rights & fundamental freedoms: US State Dept spox Ned Price pic.twitter.com/I2DfHnY6bj
— ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2022
According to Price, they may now celebrate the liberation of two Americans from Afghan prison. He also said citizens of the United States are receiving full support while receiving these. They’re going to see their families again shortly.
He noted the hypocrisy of the Afghan government’s humanitarian gesture on the same day that it banned women from attending college. He also said the Taliban should decide when this happens.
Another Ban on Women’s Education
On Tuesday, the Taliban-controlled higher education ministry in Afghanistan announced that women would be barred from enrolling in institutions until further notice.
Male university students have walked out of their exam in protest against Taliban’s decision to BAN female students from university education.
Several male professors have also resigned so far.
This must happen across the country NOW!pic.twitter.com/kvvsQdchSu
— Shabnam Nasimi (@NasimiShabnam) December 21, 2022
A meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Afghanistan coincided with the announcement, which took place in New York. At the UN Security Council meeting, the US and UK ambassadors strongly opposed the action.
US Assistant UN Ambassador Robert Wood stated unless the Taliban respects the liberties of all Afghans, notably the human rights and basic freedom of women and girls, they cannot hope to be a genuine member of the world community.
According to Price, it is in the United States’ best interest to free detained Americans. That’s a priority for the United States alone.
Human rights, free movement, democratic government, anti-terrorism, etc., are only some of the issues he raised that, in his view, will continue to get support.
The Taliban have barred women from public spaces like parks and gymnasiums, mandated that they cover their bodies from head to toe whenever they are out in public, and limited the kind of jobs that women might have.
Since President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US forces last year, which led to the fall of the Western-backed government in Afghanistan after two decades in power, the United States has consistently decried the Taliban’s record.