Afghan Journalists in Exile to Guterres: Remaining Journalists in Afghanistan Face Death

Several Afghan journalists in exile have said in an open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
that the remaining journalists in Afghanistan face death, humiliation, and threats at any moment.

In a letter sent to António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General on Monday, the journalists said that so far, 115 journalists have been arrested, harassed, threatened, or tortured.

According to these journalists, only five journalists have been killed and some are missing in the past year.

Based on the information in this letter, television networks have been forced to shut down due to the severe restrictions of Taliban, online media have faced serious censorship, and the websites of newspapers such as Hasht-e-Subh and Zaweia have been blocked for the same reason.

The letter states that many Afghan exiled journalists have reached a point in Pakistan, Iran, and India where they are forced to sell their body parts to find a morsel of bread for their children and have credible evidence in this regard.

The letter adds that some journalists have been forced to leave the country and are now wandering in different countries.

According to the letter’s authors, 378 media outlets in Afghanistan, which made up 60% of the country’s media outlets, have been shut down or are on the verge of being blocked.

The journalists also asked for attention to be paid to the “sad situation” of imprisoned journalists in Afghanistan by neighboring countries and some other third countries to preserve their lives and dignity.

They continue to call for the transfer of wandering journalists in neighboring countries of Afghanistan, including Iran, Pakistan, and India, to secure locations.

The letter’s authors asked António Guterres to create the conditions for relevant institutions to address this issue and put pressure on Taliban to respect the freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

It should be noted that with Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, a large number of journalists have been forced to flee to neighboring and European countries due to security issues.

Taliban, by pressuring the media in Afghanistan, have made journalistic work difficult. They have been extremely ruthless towards the media and journalists in the past, and it seems that with their return to power, these conditions have worsened.

By pressuring the media, the Taliban are trying to censor news and reports that contradict their theories. They have also imposed sanctions on journalists and some reporters have fled due to security threats.