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Afghan women detained over ‘improper’ hijab

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

KABUL: A Taliban official has said several girls and women were detained recently in Kabul for not covering themselves properly, after reports circulated of a crackdown in the Afghan capital.

In a video posted on on Wednesday, security official Ehsanullah Saqib told a gathering of religious scholars in Kabul’s western Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood that in the past week “we have detained a number of women and girls who were without hijab, with the help of women police”.

Women have been squeezed from public life, barred from travelling without a male relative and ordered to cover everything but their hands and eyes when outside the home, though many women still go out in Kabul without covering their mouths.

Ehsanullah, addressing the gathering on Tuesday according to the video posted on X by Khaama Press and Amu TV, said the women and girls were detained because they were “totally without hijab”, wearing trousers or leggings and dresses, instead of a garment that loosely covers the whole body.

“They were arrested to inform their families that their sister, daughter or wife roams without hijab and they should prevent this,” he said.

Abdul Ghafar Sabawoon, spokesman for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, said the women had “only been advised by female police to have greater respect and dignity (in observing hijab)”.

“No woman has been disrespected or humiliated, nor do we have anyone in the custody in connection to this.”

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