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WASHINGTON: US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Sunday a Taliban decree that ordered Afghan women to cover their faces in public was “unconscionable.”

The order from the group’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, on Saturday said that if a woman did not cover her face outside home, her father or closest male relative would be visited and face potential prison or firing from state jobs.

Washington and others have already cut development aid and sanctioned Afghanistan’s banking system since the Taliban took over in August as the United States ended its 20-year war in the country.

“What they did (on Saturday) is unconscionable and I’m sure we can expect more from them, and it just redoubles our commitment to supporting Afghan women moving forward,” Thomas-Greenfield said in an interview with CNN.

Taliban announce women must cover faces in public, say burqa is best

The order marked a return to a signature policy of the Taliban’s previous 1996-2001 rule and marks the latest regulation imposed on the country’s women despite the group’s claims it has changed.

“It shows again what the Taliban are capable of. We said from day one we will judge them by their actions, not their words, and these actions...I think sends a very chilling message across the world,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

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