New Afghan media guidelines issued by the Taliban this week prohibit TV shows from featuring actresses and require female journalists to wear Islamic hijabs.
Taliban officials told media that the decrees are not strict rules per se, but simply guidelines to keep in mind when transmitting.
Najiba stands at his home in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, November 18, 2021 (AP Photo / Petros Giannakouris)
The “guidelines” were set out on Sunday by the Afghan Ministry for the Prevention of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. The edicts targeting women were among nine in total aimed at ruling over what the militant Islamic group deems immoral.
Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province, northeastern Afghanistan, Wednesday, September 8, 2021 (AP Photo / Mohammad Asif Khan)
Other guidelines prohibit films or television shows that are contrary to Islam or Afghan values, such as the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad. Another directive deems depiction of male bodies, such as an undressed torso, to be inappropriate.
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The new rules on women in the media run counter to the fact that the Taliban reassured the world after regaining control of the country that it would be more moderate and respect “women’s rights.”
Evacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 23. (US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell)
“The Taliban’s new media regulations and threats against journalists reflect broader efforts to silence any criticism of the Taliban regime,” Patricia Grossman, associate director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “The disappearance of all space for dissent and the deepening of restrictions on women in media and the arts are devastating. ”
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US troops left Afghanistan on August 30, a day ahead of the deadline agreed between the Biden administration and the Taliban, officially ending the country’s longest-running conflict.
Michael Lee of Fox News contributed to this report.