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Female singer braves threats on 'Afghan Star'

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 01:41

Jan. 31 - In Afghanistan's ultra-conservative society, 17-year-old Latifa Azizi is braving threats to pursue a singing career on the talent show ''Afghan Star''. Sarah Charlton reports.

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Latifa Azizi is one of the contestants on the popular TV show "Afghan Star", where she's pursuing her dream of becoming a famous singer. But this is ultra-conservative Afghanistan. Being pitch perfect is just one of a multitude of concerns. SOUNDBITE: AFGHAN FEMALE SINGER, LATIFA AZIZI, SAYING (Dari): "I am scared. I received death threats from unknown people after joining this programme. I have many problems and concerns about going back to my home town in Mazar-e-Sharif. If the situation is OK there for me to go, why not? I want to go." Latifa's community in the north said it was un-Islamic for a woman to appear on television. Death threats forced the family to flee to the capital, but the backlash hasn't stopped. Many women in the public eye are harassed. Some are even beaten and killed. Shahla Zaland is one of the judges on Afghan Star. SOUNDBITE: JUDGE AT THE AFGHAN STAR MUSIC PROGRAM, SHAHLA ZALAND, SAYING (Dari): "Afghan women are facing the same problems that they faced 50 years ago. We should be improving day by day but the situation of Afghan women remains backwards. There are still problems for women to perform music. There are conditions that limit them. Music in fact is a nice thing and women should to be able to perform." Some women's rights have been clawed back since the Taliban were overthrown. But many fear an increase in repression as NATO-troops withdraw next year.

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Female singer braves threats on 'Afghan Star'

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 01:41

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