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Afghan journalists called UN to protect them from Taliban

31.08.2021, 15:55
AP
AP

About 150 Afghan journalists have appealed to the United Nations, the international community, human rights organizations and media support platforms asking to protect them from the Taliban. This is said in an open letter published on Saturday and signed by 150 reporters, as TOLO News reported.

“Considering the increasing challenges and threats facing media workers, as well as their families and property, we urge the United Nations and donor countries to take action to save our lives and our families,” the letter reads.  

The journalists said that the international community must not just stand back, but should take action to defend Afghan journalists who have been working tirelessly over the past two decades for freedom of speech.  

“At this crucial moment, the world instead of watching must take action to save our lives and those of our families,” said reporter Ahmad Navid Kawosh. 

“We are living in uncertainty. We do not know what will happen to us and our future. The world countries must hear our voice,” said reporter Rafiullah Nikzad.

The media crisis in Afghanistan began in August 2021, when the ultra-radical Islamist Taliban took the power. It particularly it affected women journalists who faced uncertainty about their lives and work under the current regime. This happened despite the Taliban's claims that they would allow women to work.

According to TOLOnews,  is one among dozens of female reporters who is no longer working since her media company shut down.  

Ahmadi says she has been the only breadwinner and does not know how she will feed her family.

“The fate of numerous reporters is not known. The Taliban should let female media staff work because most of them are the only breadwinners for their families,” she said.  

 

As IMI reported, on August 24, the international human rights organization Reporters sans Frontières said the Taliban have unofficially imposed oppressive rules on the media, although the Taliban had publicly promised to protect journalists and respect press freedom.

On August 25, the Taliban beat Ziar Yaad, a reporter for one of TOLOnews' largest television channels, and his cameraman in Kabul while filming a report.

The Taliban searched at least four journalists and news agencies .

Several U.S. government agencies that have worked in Afghanistan are taking down articles and photos from their websites for fear of retaliation by the Taliban against the Afghan civilian population through cooperation with the Americans. A few days later, the UN announced that the Taliban were intensifying a search for people who they believe worked with U.S. and NATO forces, including among the crowds of Afghans outside Kabul’s airport, and have threatened to kill or arrest their family members, as The New You Times reported.

The Taliban extremist group has seized power in Afghanistan. On August 15, 2021, the President left Afghanistan and agreed to hand over power to the Taliban. On the same day, the Taliban, recognized by most countries as a terrorist movement, occupied Kabul without a fight. The Taliban now control all of Afghanistan. The militants have said that "the war in Afghanistan is over" and have already announced the proclamation of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" in the near future.

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