in Herat, men and women can once again eat together in restaurants

An official from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Herat, Riazullah Seerat, said on Thursday that the authorities had ordered that “men and women be separated in restaurants”. He pointed out that the owners had been verbally warned of this measure, which applied even to those who are “husband and wife”.

Taliban authorities on Saturday denied ever imposing such a ban. “This information is baseless and false, we completely deny it […] Never has such a thing been ordered,” said Mohammad Sadeq Akif Muhajir, the national spokesman for the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, in a statement. Afghans “can go freely with their families to restaurants, eat, drink tea […], there is no problem. These rumors are absolutely unfounded and false,” he insisted.

Mandatory burqa

According to Tawangar, however, the Taliban had implemented the ban well, “which unfortunately caused problems for restaurants”, which had to apologize to many customers for not being able to let them eat together. “For several days we couldn’t let the families sit together and eat, but now the problem is solved and everything is back to normal.”

Since coming to power in August, the Taliban have steadily curtailed women’s freedoms and imposed forms of segregation between the two sexes, in accordance with their ultra-rigorous interpretation of Sharia, Islamic law.

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