Afghan province officials told no photos, videos of ‘living things’ allowed

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Authorities in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, ordered its officials on Sunday not to take pictures or videos of “living things.”

In a letter addressed to civil and military officials, the provincial department of interior directed them “to refrain from taking pictures of living things in your formal and informal gatherings, because it causes more harm than good.”

It said text or audio content on officials’ activities was allowed.

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

A spokesperson for Kandahar’s governor told AFP the letter was authentic and that its instructions only applied to provincial officials.

“It is not related to the general public and independent media,” Mahmood Azzam said.

Television and pictures of living things were banned under the previous Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

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.

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