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  • Writer's pictureAfghan Witness

Arrests for violating Taliban Hijab rules cause controversy

The Taliban’s reported detentions for non-compliance with hijab rules have received mixed reactions: contradictory claims from Taliban officials, concern from local groups, and condemnation from international community.


© Afghan Witness, 2023, Ghazni, Afghanistan via Afghan Witness


On 1 January 2024, the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue, and the Prevention of Evil (MPVPE) initiated a campaign arresting women and girls for non-compliance with hijab rules.


On the same day, media reports emerged saying the Taliban had arrested women for hijab violations in predominantly Shia areas of Kabul: Dasht-e-Barchi, Pol-e-Khoshk, Tank-e-Tel, and establishments including the Barchi City Centre, Bahar-e-Sarab, and City Walk.


The founder of Rukhshana Media, Zahra Joya, stated on X (formerly Twitter) that 18 girls had been detained. 


Afghan Witness (AW) was unable to verify the exact number of women who were arrested, as videos purportedly showing the arrests were inconclusive. However, AW geolocated a photograph capturing arrests in Dasht-e-Barchi. The photo features several women near a vehicle; AW determined it was taken in front of the City Walk shopping centre.


Read the full report here

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