Afghan Taliban women have instructed TV anchors to cover their faces

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KABUL, Afghanistan – Taliban rulers in Afghanistan have ordered all female presenters on TV channels to cover their faces, the country’s largest media outlet reported on Thursday.

The Tolo News Channel said in a tweet that the order came in a statement from the Taliban’s Ministry of Information and Culture, which is responsible for enforcing the Taliban’s rules and regulations. In a statement, the channel said the order was “final and non-negotiable.”

The statement was sent to Moby Group, which owns ToloNews and several other TV and radio networks, and the tweet says it is being applied to other Afghan media.

An Afghan local media official confirmed that his station had received the order and said it was not for discussion. He said there was no alternative to the station. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Several female presenters and presenters have posted pictures of themselves on social media showing them covering their faces while presenting programs. A prominent TOLO presenter, Yalda Ali, posted a video of herself wearing a mask with the caption: “A woman is being removed, at the behest of the Ministry of Virtue and Vice.”

At one station, Shamshad TV, the execution of the order was mixed: on Thursday a female anchor appeared with a mask, while another left the day after showing her face.

When the Taliban first came to power in 1996-2001, they imposed heavy restrictions on women, forcing them to wear full-length burqas that even covered their eyes with a net and barred them from public life. And education

After they regained power in Afghanistan in August, the Taliban initially eased their restrictions a bit, announcing no dress code for women. In recent weeks, however, they have taken a sharp, hard-line pivot that has confirmed the worst fears of rights activists.

Earlier this month, the Taliban publicly instructed all women to wear clothing from head to toe that could only be seen with their eyes. The decree states that women must leave the home only if necessary and male relatives will face punishment for violating the women’s dress code, starting with a summons and increasing to a court hearing and jail time.

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

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