Afghan Taliban official says taking pictures 'a major sin'

KABUL: A Taliban official said journalists were committing "a major sin" by taking pictures, Afghan media reported on Wednesday.

Television and pictures of living things were banned under the previous Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, but a similar edict has so far not been imposed since authorities took back power in Afghanistan in 2021.

"Taking pictures is a major sin," Mohammad Hashem Shaheed Wror, a senior official in the justice ministry, told a seminar for department staff in the capital Kabul on Tuesday, according to footage broadcast by several media.

"Our media friends, Afghans, they are always busy in this sin and always pulled towards immorality."

Officials in the Taliban birthplace of Kandahar were ordered this week not to take any images of living things, but the ban did not extend to media or the public, the spokesperson for Kandahar's governor Mahmood Azzam told AFP.

Images of humans and animals are generally avoided in Islamic art, extending for some Muslims to an aversion to any images of living things.

Several media outlets have refrained from using images of people and animals since the Taliban returned to power more than two years ago.

However, official central government departments frequently distribute and share pictures of senior officials meeting foreign dignitaries. -- AFP

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