In Afghanistan, the Taliban have arrested eighteen employees of the aid organization International Assistance Mission (IAM). A government spokesperson told local media that they were arrested for spreading Christianity. According to him, there is an American among the people arrested.
The Afghan aid agency says Taliban officials raided its office in central Ghor province twice this month, taking away the employees. The organization says it does not know why the Taliban made the arrests.
Those arrested have been transferred to a prison in the capital Kabul. “The well-being and safety of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us,” IAM said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to get them released.”
The aid organization is involved in, among other things, healthcare and education in Afghanistan and calls itself “a partnership between the people of Afghanistan and international Christian volunteers”. IAM has been active in Afghanistan since 1966.
Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, aid organizations have come under stricter scrutiny. Afghan women are prohibited from being active in non-governmental organizations. American researchers also said earlier this year that the Taliban is intimidating aid organizations.
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