Irish government must support journalists fleeing Afghanistan
The NUJ is calling on the Irish government to support journalists and other media workers fleeing Afghanistan and is urging members to donate to the International Union of Journalists safety fund appeal for Afghan journalists.
Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary urged the government to use it’s role as the UN Security Council and within the EU to ensure that specific measures are put in place for journalists and media workers seeking safe passage out of Afghanistan and resettlement abroad. He said:
“We note that Ireland is initially offering 150 humanitarian visas and that there is a focus on human rights defenders. In any future programme journalists from Afghanistan should be included. Ireland must play a leadership role at the EU and UN Security Council to ensure that journalists are not again silenced. There is particular concern over the plight of women journalists.”
As the Taliban have taken control of towns and cities across the country, there has been a consequential and rapid escalation of violence and threats against journalists and independent media, with reports of threats being issued and house to house searches in Kabul yesterday that resulted in three journalists being detained. Many journalists have gone into hiding and women journalists have been prevented from reporting.
More than 140 media outlets have been forcibly shut down or taken over by the Taliban and as a result to date over 1,000 journalists and media workers have lost their jobs.
The NUJ is encouraging people to donate to the IFJ urgent appeal to help Afghan colleagues. Donate online to the IFJ Safety Fund for Afghan colleagues.