May 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Afghanistan | Men and women can eat together again at restaurants in Herat

Afghanistan |  Men and women can eat together again at restaurants in Herat

(Herat) Men and women were once again allowed to eat together in restaurants in the western Afghan city of Herat, where Taliban officials tried to impose gender segregation, a- we learned on Saturday from some organizations.

Posted at 12:04 pm yesterday.

“Restrictions have been lifted and restaurants will once again allow families to eat together,” receptionist Jawad Tawangar told AFP at a restaurant in Herat.

Riazullah Sirat, an official with the Ministry of Virtue Promotion and Vice Prevention in Herat, told AFP on Thursday that authorities had ordered “segregation of men and women in restaurants.”

He points out that employers have been verbally warned about this action, which also applies to “husbands and wives”.

Many restaurant managers and customers have confirmed to AFP that this division has begun to apply in the city.

Taliban officials on Saturday denied that such a ban had ever been imposed. “This information is baseless and inaccurate. We reject it outright […] Such a thing has never been ordered, ”said Mohammad Sadeq Akif Muhajir, national spokesman for the Ministry of Virtue Promotion and Vice Prevention.

Afghans “can freely go to restaurants with their families, eat, and drink tea […], There is no problem. These rumors are completely baseless and untrue, ”he stressed.

According to Tawangar, however, the Taliban enforced the ban well, “unfortunately it caused problems for restaurants”, which had to apologize for not being able to dine with many customers together.

Zia-ul-Haq, another restaurant owner in Herat, confirmed, “For many days we families could not sit down and dine together, but now the problem has been resolved and everything is back to normal.”

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Since coming to power in August, the Taliban has gradually reduced the liberties of women and imposed forms of segregation between the two sexes in accordance with Sharia, the most rigorous interpretation of Islamic law.

They initially promised that women would be more flexible than when they lost almost all their rights, under their previous regimes between 1996 and 2001.

But they quickly withdrew their commitments, mostly excluding women from government jobs, denying them access to secondary school or restricting their right to travel.

Last week, they also announced a decree that women should wear a full mask in public.