July 4, 2022

Balkan Travellers

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The TV presenters wore masks in solidarity with the presenters

Earlier this month, the Taliban’s top leader issued an edict ordering women to cover themselves completely in public, including the face, and to be better off with a burqa.

Seconds before it goes up in the air, Afghan presenter Nisar Nabil wears a black mask, a symbolic gesture against the Taliban’s forced decision. Editors have to cover their faces on TV.

We take a stand in support of our female colleaguesNisar Nabil, who works for Afghanistan’s leading private news channel TOLOnews, told AFP. “During our live news broadcasts or political broadcasts, we wear masks as a form of protestHe added after presenting the news bulletin that he was wearing a mask.

Since they returned to power last year, the Taliban have imposed a series of restrictions on civil society, many of which are aimed at subordinating women to their fundamentalist views on Islam. Earlier this month, Taliban leader Hibbatullah Akuntzada issued an edict ordering women to cover themselves completely in public. Previously, a scarf to cover the hair was enough. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Terrorism Promotion and Suppression Prevention Ministry has ordered female TV presenters to comply by Saturday.

“Pressure on the media”

Female journalists chose not to obey the order in the first place and broadcast live without covering their faces. Before returning: On Sunday, to present newspapers on Dolonews, Haryana Television, Shamshat TV and 1TV channels, on Sunday, the editors wore full veils and could only see their eyes and forehead.

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The editors of TOLOnews and 1TV decided to broadcast in black masks in solidarity with their sisters and against the Taliban order. Thus wearing masks, they sometimes even give joint performances with their female colleagues. “The Taliban want to put pressure on the media with these restrictions (…). They want the media to act according to their plansNisar Nabil regretted wearing a tie, blazer and jeans.

In the offices of another large private channel 1TV, male presenters and network staff also wear masks, while women wear full face and can only see their eyes and forehead. “We agree to wear Islamic hijabs but we agree with our hosts who do not like to wear masks because it is difficult to hold a show for three or four hours.Idris Farouki, editor of the AFP channel, said.

Restrictions for providers?

We hope that they (Taliban) will change their decision and remove these restrictions“, He adds. Behind him, a journalist delivers a news release. During the break, she wipes the sweat off her face. Taliban officials do not appear to be moving to change the order.

If forcing editors to wear a tie is accepted, why would it be a bad thing to force a hijab wearer?“The government’s deputy spokesman, Inamullah Samangani, commented on Twitter this week. “If a tie can be a part of the uniform (on TV), why can’t the hijab be a part of it?“, He added. According to 1 TV presenter Mohib Yousuf, it will be a while before the authorities impose dress restrictions on men.”Many male providers now fear that there will be restrictions on their dress code“, The journalist worries, wearing a suit and black mask. On state television, no women present the article, and male providers now wear salwar kameez – traditional Afghan clothing – and turbans.

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