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Women Afghan TV presenters ‘must cover’ face

Afghan-based Tolo News, in a tweet, said that the ministries of Vice and Virtue and Information and Culture called it a ‘final verdict’ and said that the order has been issued to all media outlets in Afghanistan. 

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Kabul: The Taliban have ordered women Afghan TV presenters to cover their faces while on-air.

Afghan-based Tolo News, in a tweet, said that the ministries of Vice and Virtue and Information and Culture called it a ‘final verdict’ and said that the order has been issued to all media outlets in Afghanistan. 

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In reply to a tweet that shows women TV presenter in hijab, Heather Barr, Associate Director of the Women’s Rights division at Human Rights Watch, said: “In addition to violating women’s rights to freedom and expression, this will also block access to information for people with impaired hearing who lip read and hearing people who rely on visual speech cues to help them understand people on tv.”

The ruling comes two weeks after all women were ordered to wear a face veil in public, or face punishment.

The Taliban, in an earlier order, directed women staff members of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to wear the hijab.

“Taliban claim new women’s dress rules are ‘advice’ but are imposing them as mandatory—including on Afghan women working at UN,” Barr tweeted on May 17.

According to a UNAMA statement, a delegation of Taliban officials from the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice told the UN that female employees should consider wearing the hijab, while reporting to duties.

The statement also notes that the personnel of the Ministry will stand outside the UN office to “monitor if hijab is used or not”. In an event if the personnel finds a female staff member without hijab, they will talk to her “politely” to wear it as wearing hijab is mandatory outside, reports Khaama News.

The new decree is being widely criticised online, with many calling it another step by the Taliban to promote extremism.

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