Afghan women speak up against new Taliban media guidelines | Taliban News

Afghan journalists and freedom fighters have expressed concern over the “new religious guidelines” provided by the Taliban authorities, citing these and other issues. a straightforward form on women.

A Taliban, who adalanda In Afghanistan nearly 100 days ago, Sunday urged women journalists to adhere to the dress code and called for a halt to television shows, a threat to women’s rights and freedom of the press.

Akif Muhajir, a spokesman for the Second Ministry of Promotion and Prevention, said “these are not laws but religious directives”.

However, human rights activists fear that it could be misused to harass women journalists, many of whom have already fled the country following the Taliban coup on August 15.

The Taliban are accused of violating their pledge to protect women’s rights and the freedom of the press. Recent developments, which required women to wear the hijab while reporting, do not specify what type of clothing they should use.

Such restrictions, as well as the expansion of the control of news reports, have been done to maintain “national interests”, according to the group.

‘Save media’

Zahra Nabi, a radio presenter who re-launched the women’s radio program, said she felt threatened when the Taliban regained power, and decided to broadcast it the same day.

“All the publications are under their control [Taliban] control, “Nabi, who launched Baano TV in 2017, told Al Jazeera.

The nets that were once run by 50 women were a sign of the longevity of Afghan women since the Taliban came to power in the 1990s.

With most of the network operators now gone, Nabi was still clinging to his job, and like many other journalists based in Afghanistan, he had to work under the radar.

“We work in the most difficult areas, and we are collecting reports under the burqa,” said Nabi, referring to the outer garment covering the entire body and face worn by some Muslim women.

“It is very difficult for women journalists,” she said, citing a recent example when she had to enter Kunduz city as a social worker, not as a journalist.

“I do not identify myself as a journalist. I had to arrange with the local women a safe place to work, ”said Nabi.

A group of women in burqas are crossing the street as Taliban members pass through Kabul, Afghanistan. [Jorge Silva/Reuters]

Now that Baano TV is no longer on TV, the 34-year-old said he was trying to find other ways to broadcast his reports, either through social media, or through radio abroad.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday that the new strict guidelines are particularly harmful to women.

“The new rules for Taliban journalists and intimidation of journalists show a great deal of effort to curb any opposition to the Taliban regime,” said Patricia Gossman, an Asian ally at HRW.

“The lack of any place to prevent inconsistencies and worsening of women in the media and technology is devastating.”

Sonia Ahmadyar, a journalist who was fired in August, said the Taliban was slowly moving “to block the media”.

On a daily basis, the Taliban have imposed sanctions on women “not to allow them to be active,” Ahmadyar told Al Jazeera.

Women are “truly frustrated to be seen on TV,” she said, adding that the group has been deprived of their “freedom” and financial independence.

A 35-year-old boy has asked the Taliban to allow women journalists to return to work “without harassment” soon.

“It is their most important right, because it is the most important thing in their lives, and because their absence from television can have a detrimental effect on all Afghan women,” she said.

‘You are compelled to obey’

In the past, the Taliban have argued that secret media can operate freely as long as it does not conflict with Islamic tradition. A few days after taking office, the group demanded that the government comply with Islamic law.

But journalists and human rights activists have criticized the guidelines for being vague, saying they could translate.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Asked if the avoidance of the advice would be punishable by law, Muhajir from the Ministry of Promotion of Prevention and Prevention Second, told Al Jazeera citizens that “they should obey the instructions”, without elaborating.

According to Heather Barr, director of the Women’s Rights section at HRW, the Taliban’s directive is the most recent part of the group’s “removal of women from society”.

This comes after the group removed women from senior positions in government, dissolved the ministry of women, women’s sports, and adopted a plan to address violence against women.

Shortly after seizing power, the Taliban recruited high school girls stay home from school. However, girls in some parts of the country are now allowed to resume their education.

Although many Afghan women covered their heads, some did not. But whether they did or not – “it was important that it was their choice,” Barr said.

Shaqaiq Hakimi, an Afghan youth activist, agreed.

“God has given us free will. So it should not be something compulsive, but theirs [women’s] your choice, “he told Al Jazeera.

Since the guidelines do not specify the type of women who should wear a head covering, Taliban officials will feel “have the power to determine what the hijab is,” said Barr, leaving women at risk of being suspended and tortured on the streets.

The results of such police work will force professional women to constantly ask themselves if their hijab is in the Taliban.

This will have a “very cold” effect on their performance, according to Barr.

But women like Nabi said restrictions would not prevent him from doing his job.

“We are working, we are not quitting, and we will continue what we are doing,” he said. “That’s our plan.”

Hakimi echoed Nabi’s sentiments, saying that if women stopped fighting for their rights, “no one would give it to us”.

Additional reports of Mohsin Khan Momand in Kabul

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