Several vulnerable Afghan journalists have expressed concern for their safety and that of their families in an open letter to the United Nations, the international community, human rights advocacy institutions and journalist support organizations.
Through this letter, the recalled institutions are requested to find a way to evacuate vulnerable journalists before the exit process ends. The letter states that if no action is taken to evacuate them, then the chances of a rise in violence against journalists and their families is unavoidable. “In this critical level, we want the world to take practical action to protect instead of observing. Do it for the lives of journalists and their families,” states the letter.
The letter also mentions that the exit and rescue process of journalists was unclear according to the performance of the media mafia. It should be clarified.
Several female reporters are now unemployed with the explicit order of the Taliban. And the dominant percentage of media has rejected the reporters with a conservative approach.
The vulnerable journalists have also added in this letter the limitations they face to access information and how a few journalists have been beaten by the Taliban while on duty.
The letter says, “In some cases, Taliban have started door-to-door efforts and are looking for free journalists. Even that many journalists are now hiding in unknown parts to protect themselves.”
The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) too in their letter dated August 11, 2021, to the Taliban leader has urged them to stop violence against journalists. The letter or press release lists several incidences of violence and crime against journalists by the Taliban.
Through their letter, they also condemn the Taliban’s act of crime against media personnel. It says, “AJSC believes that all forms of violence and harassment of journalists are a transgression of freedom of expression and stand contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration of Islamic Human Rights, and Geneva Conventions. Violence and harassment of journalists are considered an international crime under the Rome Statute.”
According to the letter, “It is noteworthy that such violence is in direct contrast to the official statements made by the Taliban leaders.”
Read the full letter here: