Taliban orders Afghan women to cover face in public

Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership ordered women to cover their faces in public, reverting to a key policy of their previous austere reign and escalating restrictions that have sparked outrage at home and abroad.

According to a directive issued by the group’s supreme commander, Haibatullah Akhundzada, if a lady did not cover her face outside of her house, her father or closest male relative would be visited and might face imprisonment or dismissal from public posts.

“We appeal to the international community to support the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and its people… Please don’t worry us. Don’t put additional pressure on Afghans; history shows that pressure has no effect on them “Minister for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Mohammad Khalid Hanafi warned a press conference.

The perfect facial covering, according to the organization, was the all-encompassing blue burqa, which was mandatory for women in public under the Taliban’s prior administration from 1996 to 2001.

The majority of Afghan women wear headscarves for religious reasons, however many in metropolitan places such as Kabul do not.

Western countries, as well as several religious experts and Islamic nations, have slammed the Taliban for restricting women’s rights, including closing girls’ high schools.

The UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement on Saturday that it would seek talks with the Taliban right away to discuss the matter, and that it would confer with others in the international community about the ruling’s ramifications.

“UNAMA is gravely disturbed by the Taliban de facto authorities’ declaration today… this decision violates many guarantees about respect for and preservation of all Afghans’ human rights,” according to the statement.

Since the group seized power in August, the US and others have halted development funds and sanctioned the financial sector, plunging Afghanistan into economic devastation.

The Taliban claims to have reformed since its last reign, but they have recently implemented laws restricting women’s movement without a male chaperone and prohibiting men and women from attending parks together.

The rule, according to Kabul-based women’s rights campaigner Mahbouba Seraj, “interferes with women’s private life.” “Other issues that we face today include suicide attacks, poverty, and so on… Every day, people are dying; our daughters are unable to attend school; women are unable to work… They only think, speak, and pass rules on hijab (Islamic attire for women).”

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