Taliban say Afghan TV anchors must wear face coverings on air: NPR

Basira Joya, 20, a news anchor, sits during the taping at the Zan (Women’s TV) television station in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 30, 2017. Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers ordered all news anchors to television that covered their faces in the air, the largest in the country. the news outlet said on Thursday.

Rahmat Gul/AP


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Rahmat Gul/AP


Basira Joya, 20, a news anchor, sits during the taping at the Zan (Women’s TV) television station in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 30, 2017. Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers ordered all news anchors to television that covered their faces in the air, the largest in the country. the news outlet said on Thursday.

Rahmat Gul/AP

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have ordered all female television anchors to wear face coverings on air, the country’s largest media outlet said Thursday.

The order came in a statement from the Vice Ministry and Virtue of the Taliban, in charge of enforcing the group’s decisions, as well as the Ministry of Information and Culture, the TOLOnews channel said in a tweet. The statement called the order “final and non-negotiable,” the channel said.

The statement was sent to the Moby Group, which owns TOLOnews and several other TV and radio networks, and the tweet said it was being applied to other Afghan outlets as well.

A local Afghan media official confirmed that his station had received the order and was told it was not in dispute. He said the station has no choice. He spoke on the condition that he and his station not be identified for fear of trouble with authorities.

Several hostesses and hosts posted their photos on social media showing them with their faces covered with face masks while hosting shows. A prominent TOLO presenter, Yalda Ali, posted a video of herself putting on a face mask with the caption: “a woman being erased, by orders of Virtue and the Vice Ministry.”

At one station, Shamshad TV, implementation of the order was mixed: One female presenter appeared wearing a face mask on Thursday, while another later in the day went without, showing her face.

During the first time the Taliban were in power between 1996 and 2001, they imposed crippling restrictions on women, forcing them to wear the all-encompassing burka that even covered the eyes with mesh and prevented them from participating in public life. and education

After they retook power in Afghanistan in August, the Taliban initially appeared to have eased their restrictions somewhat, announcing that there was no dress code for women. But in recent weeks, they have taken a sharp, hard-line turn that confirmed the worst fears of human rights activists.

Earlier this month, the Taliban ordered all women in public to wear head-to-toe clothing that only leaves their eyes visible. The decree said that women should leave the home only when necessary and that male relatives would face punishment for violations of the women’s dress code, beginning with a citation and escalating to court hearings and jail time.

The Taliban leader also issued a decree banning girls from attending school after the sixth grade, reversing earlier promises by Taliban officials that girls of all ages would have access to education.

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