Kabul [Afghanistan], September 3 (ANI): The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has urged the SAARC countries and international communities to provide a safe haven to Afghan journalists seeking help.
In a statement on Friday, IFJ said, "Concerns for the state of press freedom and freedom of expression in Afghanistan are escalating following the Taliban militant's takeover, as mounting attacks and threats against Afghan media and journalists coincide with the United States departure from the country on August 31."
"Journalists in Afghanistan are in need of crucial support at this critical juncture in history. Therefore, the IFJ urges the SAARC governments to provide necessary supports including visas, safe houses and other logistical measures at this time of severe humanitarian crisis," IFJ added.
Hundreds of journalists and their families are facing a difficult situation, without passports, visas, or funds to survive, according to IFJ sources.
Those journalists who had reported critically about the Taliban, or those from ethnic communities, have fled to neighbouring countries including Pakistan. More than 90 media outlets have reportedly closed during this period, IFJ said.
Despite assurances from the Taliban for a private, independent and free media, their present actions and historical evidence prove otherwise. Afghan journalists who fear for their safety and security under the Taliban, recall that during the previous Taliban regime (1996-2001), the press was heavily controlled and independent journalism was almost impossible.
The Taliban has a history of targeting journalists and restricting media coverage. This outflux of media workers encapsulates a fear among journalists that their work will not be possible under the Taliban rule. (ANI)