Afghanistan | TV presenters refuse to cover their faces

(Kabul) Female announcers from major Afghan TV channels began to air on Saturday without covering their faces, defying Taliban orders to hide their appearance and thus submitting to the militant group’s view of Islam.

Posted at 8:15 am

Since returning to power last year, the Taliban have imposed a series of insidious restrictions on civil society, many of them aimed at curtailing women’s rights.

Earlier this month, the Taliban’s supreme leader issued an order requiring women to cover themselves completely in public, including the face, ideally with the traditional burqa.

Previously, it was enough just to cover the hair.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has ordered female television presenters to comply by Saturday.

But the female journalists from TOLOnews, Shamshad TV and 1TV all started live, live, without hiding their faces.

“Our sisters are afraid to cover their faces, so the next thing they will be told is to stop working,” said Abed Ehsas, head of news at Shamshad TV.

“That is why they have not respected the order until now,” he told AFP.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Muhammad Sadiq Akef Muhajir, warned against women violating Taliban directives.

“If they do not comply, we will talk to the officials,” he told AFP.

“Anyone who lives under a certain system and government has to obey the laws and orders of that system, so they have to carry out the order,” he said.

The Taliban ordered the dismissal of women working in the government if they failed to adhere to the new dress code.

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Employees are also at risk of dismissal if their wives or daughters do not comply.

The Taliban regained power in August 2021 declaring a regime more flexible than it had been in its first strict era.

But in recent months they have begun to suppress dissent and undermine freedoms, especially for women in education, work and daily life.

They began by requiring women to wear at least a headscarf, a scarf that covers the head but reveals the face. Then, at the beginning of May, they were required to wear the niqab in public, preferably the burqa, which was already mandatory when they were in power from 1996 to 2001.

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