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Taliban's hijab decree to negatively impact their relations with international community: US special envoy

Washington [US], May 9 (ANI): The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West on Monday expressed concern over the recent decision by the Taliban to order Afghan women to cover head-to-toe and said it will continue to negatively impact their relations with the international community.

"I join Afghans from across the country and colleagues worldwide in expressing deep concern over the Taliban's latest policies that restrict women and girls' rights," West said in a series of tweets.

"Combined with the continuing ban on girls' access to secondary education and work, restrictions on freedom of movement, and targeting of peaceful protesters," he tweeted.

"The Taliban's policies toward women are an affront to human rights and will continue to negatively impact their relations with the international community," West added.

Taliban on Saturday issued a decree ordering the Afghan women to wear the all-covering burqa in public places, adding that if violated a male member of the family will be imprisoned for three days.

According to the ruling, if a woman does not wear a hijab, first, her guardian will be warned. If she is found guilty again, her guardian will be summoned and later if repeated, the guardian will be imprisoned for three days.

The UN chief Antonio Guterres was alarmed by the Taliban's decision that women must cover their faces in public and leave home only in cases of necessity.

"I once again urge the Taliban to keep their promises to Afghan women and girls, and their obligations under international human rights law," Guterres tweeted.

The UN mission in Afghanistan has also expressed concern about the announcement, saying that this decision contradicts numerous assurances regarding respect for and protection of all Afghans' human rights, including those of women and girls.

"Today's decision by the Taliban might further strain engagement with the international community. UNAMA will immediately request meetings with the Taliban de facto authorities to seek clarification on the status of this decision," the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a tweet. (ANI)