The Taliban today called on Afghan television channels to ensure that local presenters appeared on the show with their faces covered, according to an official.
The decision came days after authorities ordered women to cover their faces when in public, reverting to the Taliban’s policy and escalating restrictions on women.
“We met with media executives yesterday… They welcomed our advice,” Akif Mahajar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Morality and Virtue, told Reuters, adding that Afghans would respond positively to the decision.
Although he spoke of “advice”, he added that the measure should take effect on May 21st. He did not answer a question about the consequences for anyone who does not follow this “advice”.
Most Afghans wear headscarves for religious reasons, but many in urban areas, such as Kabul, do not cover their faces. During the previous Taliban rule (1996-2001) they were required to wear a burqa.
Mahajar said the presenters could wear a medical mask, as they did during the pandemic.
A TV station employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Taliban members visited the offices on Wednesday. “Today, in the production department they wore masks, but in the news department they continued as before,” he said.
Some channels have already started to apply the new rule.