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TV presenters in Afghanistan required to cover faces on air

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Taliban authorities in Afghanistan asked TV broadcasters to make sure that female presenters cover their faces while on air, one official said on Thursday.

The decision comes a few days after the authorities ordered women to cover their faces in public, a return to the hard-line policy of the past of the Taliban and that warrants anger at home and abroad.

‘’Yesterday, we met with media representatives… they accepted our advice with great pleasure,” said Akif Mahajar, spokesperson for the Taliban Ministry of Vice and Virtue, adding that this measure would be welcomed by Afghans.

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Even though he presented the move as “advice”, Mahajar added: “The last date for the face covering for television broadcasters is 21 May,” referring to the date on which compliance with the new requirement would have to start.

He did not answer a question about the implications of not taking the advice. Most Afghan women wear headscarves for religious reasons, but many of them, in urban areas like Kabul, are not wearing face coverings.

In the last Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, it was mandatory for women to wear the blue burqa.

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