Taliban bans women from Afghan TV entertainment and drama under new television rules

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) – Women have been banned from appearing in television dramas in Afghanistan under new rules imposed by the Taliban government. According to the new edict which was issued to broadcasters on Sunday, dramas, soap operas, or entertainment shows featuring women are prohibited with immediate effect.

In all, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice issued eight directives concerning what is allowed to be broadcast, the first of its kind imposed on the country’s media network: Women presenters must now wear headscarves on screen. Similarly, men on screen must wear “proper clothes,” although the guidelines do not specify which types of clothes are considered “proper.”

Films in opposition to Islamic law and Afghan values should not be broadcast, nor foreign and domestic films that “promote foreign culture and values.”

The rules also state that entertainment and comedy programs “should not be based on insulting others,” nor “for the insult of Human dignity and Islamic values.”

Finally, TV shows depicting the “prophets and companions” should not be broadcast.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US and allied forces in mid-August. Women and girls were quickly instructed to stay home from school, and the latest restrictions around television appearances further limits women’s freedoms under the new regime.

Under the previous Taliban government, television was prohibited as well as most other forms of media. The new rules came despite pledges from the Taliban that they would be more moderate in their exercising of power this time around.

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