In full hijab, Afghan TV presenters vow to fight – Newspaper

KABUL (Reuters) – TV presenters from major Afghan news channels vowed on Sunday to defend their rights after they were forced by Taliban authorities to cover their faces on air.

Since taking power last year, the Taliban have imposed a host of restrictions on civil society, especially women and girls to conform to the group’s austere Islam.

This month, Afghanistan’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, issued a dictation for women to cover themselves fully in public, including their faces, ideally with the traditional burqa.

The Ministry for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice has ordered TV presenters to follow suit.

After defying the order a day earlier, presenters on Sunday wore hijabs and full veils that left only their eyes on major channels, including TOLO news, Ariana Television, Shamshad TV and 1TV.

The TV station’s male journalists wear face masks in solidarity with their female colleagues

“Today they imposed a mask on us, but we will continue our fight using our voice,” said Sonia Niazi, host of TOLO newsTold AFP after submitting a ballot. “I will never cry because of this order,

but I will be the voice of other Afghan girls.

The diktat was an attempt to push female journalists out of their jobs, Niazi said.

“It’s like stripping yourself of your identity,” she added.

“Despite this, we want to make our voices heard… We will come to work until the Islamic Emirate removes us from public space or forces us to sit at home.”

“Not by choice but by force”

Lima Spesaly, a presenter with an information network 1TV, said it was hard to work under the Taliban government, but she was ready to fight. “We will continue our fight until our last breath,” Spesaly said. AFPa few minutes before going on air.

TOLO news director Khpolwak Sapai said the channel had to force its presenters to follow the order. “I was called on the phone yesterday and told in strict terms to do it. So it’s not by choice but by force,” Sapai said.

Previously, female presenters were only required to wear a headscarf.

Male journalists and employees of TOLO news Sunday wore face masks at the channel’s offices in Kabul in solidarity with female presenters.

Other employees continued to work with their faces visible.

Ministry spokesman Mohammad Akif Sadeq Mohajir said authorities appreciated that broadcasters adhered to the dress code. “We are satisfied with the media channels that have taken on this responsibility well,” he said.

Mohajir said the authorities were not against female presenters.

Posted in Dawn, May 23, 2022

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