Taliban Issues New Guidelines Banning Women in TV Dramas

The Taliban has banned women from appearing in television dramas in Afghanistan under a new “religious guideline” issued on Nov. 21.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice issued a new eight-point set of a “religious guideline” that called on Afghan television networks to stop airing dramas and soap operas featuring women.

The ministry also called on female journalists to wear Islamic hijabs when reporting on television.

The new directive also includes a ban on films or programs that are against the militant Islamist group’s interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan values, as well as those that show the Prophet Mohammed or other revered figures.

The guideline also prohibits programs that show men not properly dressed according to the Taliban’s standards.

”These are not rules but a religious guideline,” Ministry Spokesperson Hakif Mohajir told AFP News.

“These are not restrictions on freedom of expression, but a few simple principles,” another spokesperson for the ministry, Akef Mohajer, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Hujjatullah Mujaddedi, a member of an organization that represents journalists in Afghanistan, told BBC News that the announcement of the new restrictions was unexpected and that they were not practical.

Mujaddedi further said that if the restrictions were implemented, broadcasters may be forced to shut down.

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