A Kabul professor ripped up his diplomas live on television in Afghanistan to protest the Taliban’s ban on women from higher education.
The man, named Ismail Mashal, is the founder of the private Mashal University in Kabul and also a lecturer at Kabul University.
With tears in his eyes and a shaky voice, he tore up diplomas during an on-set appearance for the country’s Tolo News on Monday.
“As of today, I no longer need these diplomas because this country is not a place to study. If my sister and my mother cannot study, then I do not accept this education,” he said.
He added that the diplomas were for his multiple master’s and doctoral degrees, and that they were the originals.
The clip of his appearance has since gone viral, including being retweeted by Shabnam Nasimi, the former political adviser to the Afghan resettlement minister and UK-based refugee minister.
“Amazing scenes as a Kabul university professor destroys his degrees on live TV in Afghanistan,” Nasimi tweeted, alongside the clip.
The Taliban announced on December 20 that university education for all female students had been suspended. This follows the government banning girls from secondary school in March this year.
It also follows many other restrictions on women’s freedoms, including their access to public spaces. In November, women were banned from entering all parks in Kabul. In the same month, a Taliban official in Kabul announced that women would be banned from using gyms across the country.
Women are also required to wear the hijab and dress modestly in public according to Taliban rules.