Billionaire Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said in a video posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that he paid for the plane to fly the group to the UAE on the morning of August 23.
“The Taliban government refused to allow the girls who came to study, about a hundred girls whom I sponsored could not get on the plane, and we already paid for the plane, here we organized everything for them, accommodation, education, transportation and a number of other services with the aim of ensuring maximum comfort and safety for female students. Our aspirations have been crushed,” he said in the post.
The Taliban administration, which took power in 2021 when international forces left Afghanistan after two decades of engagement, has not publicly commented on the situation, Radio Free Europe reports in English.
Along with the message, Al Habtur posted an audio clip of one of the Afghan students who said a male companion followed her during the trip, but once at the Kabul airport authorities stopped her and the others from boarding a flight.
In recent months, the Taliban-led government has stepped up restrictions against Afghan women and girls. The Taliban banned many public activities for women, including the right to continue education beyond primary school and employment in the civil service and non-governmental organizations.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman, said the ban on education for Afghan girls above sixth grade remains in place.
The Taliban also banned women from entering universities and from many public spaces, including parks, public baths and sports clubs.
In July, the Taliban Ministry of Public Affairs ordered the closure of beauty and hair salons in Afghanistan.
International and human rights organizations are calling on the Taliban to end restrictions against women.