The Taliban has ordered all female TV news anchors in Afghanistan to wear face coverings while on air.

The ruling was announced on Thursday, May 19, with only a few stations complying, but the Taliban’s Deputy and German Ministries began enforcing it from Sunday with most female anchors seen on screens since. there.

The order is part of many Taliban restrictions on Afghan women and girls since the group took over the country in August 2021 following the departure of US forces from the country.

Sonia Niazi, a TV presenter of TOLOnews channel, shared her reaction to the new ruling.

She told AFP news: “We are against and against wearing masks but TOLOnews was pressured and asked any actress who appeared on screen without a face covering to be given some other job or simply removed.

Sonia Niazi, a TV presenter works in a TOLO NEWS studio while covering her face, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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“TOLOnews is forced and we are forced to wear it.”

The Taliban’s Ministry of Information and Culture had earlier stated that the ruling was “final and non-negotiable”.

Another TOLOnews presenter, Farida Sial, told BBC: “It’s okay for us to be Muslims, we wear headscarves, we hide our hair, but it’s very difficult for a presenter to cover his face for two or three hours straight and say so.

“[The Taliban] wanted to remove women from social and political life,” she said.

“We are deeply saddened today,” said Khpolwak Sapai, the channel’s deputy director, in a Facebook post on Sunday.

The Taliban last took power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and imposed many restrictions on women, such as requiring them to wear a burqa – a loose garment that covers the entire body including the eyes – in places. public and ban them from going to school.

When they came to power back in August, rulings for women were initially relaxed, but the group then turned sharply, sparking condemnation and criticism from organisations. international human rights.

The rulings include instructing women to leave the house only when necessary, male relatives facing jail for violating the women’s dress code and barring girls from attending high school.

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