Afghan journalists decry Taliban TV ‘guidelines’


KABUL: Afghan journalists and activists on Tuesday condemned new “religious guidelines” issued by the Taliban that restrict the role of women in television.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice on Sunday called on television channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring women actors. It also told broadcasters not to screen films or programmes that are “against Islamic or Afghan values” and asked women television journalists to wear the Islamic hijab while presenting their reports.

Zan TV, the first Afghan channel staffed exclusively by female producers and reporters, said on Twitter that the “guidelines threaten media freedom” and reduce “the presence of women journalists”.

The Taliban’s interpretation of the hijab — which can range from a hair covering to a face veil or full body covering — is unclear, and the majority of Afghan women already wear headscarves.

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