On orders from the Taliban, Afghan journalists are obligated to wear the full veil

Wearing a veil that covers her entire face except for the eyes and the lower part of the forehead, the presenter of the media channel TOLOnews opened her newspaper, Sunday, May 22. The television set is modern, however, and the complete veil of the journalist seems to have set it back 20 years, during the first Taliban regime. For the first time since the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, broadcasters, on television, are forced to cover their faces completely.

This commitment was issued earlier this month by the Taliban’s supreme leader, Hebatullah Akhundzada, and applies to women in public. Before, only a scarf covering the hair was enough. Thus, a TOLOnews television newscast starting May 20 is presented by a woman who does not wear a full veil.

The female journalists initially decided not to comply with the order to cover their faces completely. However, the Afghan Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice returned to the charge, ordering TV presenters to comply with the rule issued by the Taliban leader by Saturday. TOLOnews, Ariana Television, Shamshad TV and 1TV presenters performed on Sunday wearing full hijabs.

“We keep fighting”

Wearing the veil was a forced choice, including for the leaders of television channels. ” We were told: “You have to do it. You have to. There is no other solution.” Tolunews director Khbulwak Sabai told AFP. Transcript confirmed by TOLOnews presenter Sonia Niazi. If she agrees to wear this veil, she does not admit defeat for all that. ” Today they forced us to wear a mask, but we will continue our struggle with our voice, (…) I will be the voice of other Afghan women I promised after I submitted a newsletter. ” We will come to work until the Islamic Emirate withdraws us from public places or forces us to stay at home Lima Specali, presenter at 1TV, said she continues to fight.” till the last breath ‘, a few minutes before he flew with his face covered.

Read also: “Let’s not forget the girls and women of Afghanistan!”

Afghan journalists received support in their struggle from their male counterparts. At TOLOnews headquarters in Kabul, they decided to wear a mask covering their faces in solidarity with the presenters. The other employees continued to work with their faces uncovered. A spokesperson for the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice said the authorities had no intention of forcing applicants to quit their jobs. ” We are glad the chains exercised their responsibility properly Reply to Agence France-Presse.

Restriction of women’s rights

Once in power, the Taliban attacked women’s rights, in the name of religious principles. Hence, they ordered the dismissal of women working in the government if they did not respect the new dress code. Men are also at risk of dismissal if their wives or daughters do not comply.

Read also: Afghanistan: 7 months after the arrival of the Taliban, women’s rights continue to deteriorate

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice called last November to avoid broadcasting soap operas featuring women. They have been banned from exercising since last October and from traveling alone since December.

The obligation to wear the full veil was already made during the first Taliban regime, between 1996 and 2001. After his overthrow, many rural, conservative women continued to wear the burqa. But many other Afghan women, especially in cities, including TV presenters, chose the simple veil.

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