As the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates, including NWU, are calling on governments and the international community to provide immediate support and protection to Afghan media workers and their families who are under threat.
“We are losing everything, I am worried for every single member of our association, in fact for every single journalist in Afghanistan,” said the leader of one of Afghanistan’s journalists’ unions. Reports from Afghanistan are that more than 140 media outlets have been closed or forcibly turned over to Taliban control. Many staff have fled. The director of the Afghanistan media and information center was assassinated in Kabul.
Women journalists are being banned from working and are fearful for their lives. One union leader reported that the day after the Taliban arrived in Kabul: “98 per cent of the media is silent. The remaining 2 per cent are dedicated to Taliban policy without women and music.”
More than 1,000 journalists and media workers have lost their jobs. The fear among many Afghan journalists is that they will be quickly forgotten by the news organizations they have worked for, for the past 20 years.
NWU is working with IFJ and our sister unions to provide emergency support, to help journalists take protective measures, seek safety and where necessary to leave the country. A special fund within the IFJ Safety Fund has been established to try and guarantee safety for all media workers in the country.
We urge every journalist and writer within the sound of our voice, and every supporter of a free press, to give quickly and generously.