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Home / World / Afghan journalists are facing a more perilous route to safety from Taliban, some have been killed

Afghan journalists are facing a more perilous route to safety from Taliban, some have been killed

Despite assurances of amnesty by the regime, a growing number of reports indicate that Taliban are searching for Afghan reporters and in some cases targeting them or members or their families
A porter pushes an elderly Afghan man in a wheelbarrow at the Chaman, Pakistan, border crossing on Friday.
A porter pushes an elderly Afghan man in a wheelbarrow at the Chaman, Pakistan, border crossing on Friday.
AP/PTI

James C. McKinley Jr., Michael M. Grynbaum, Tiffany Hsu, Katie Robertson   |   New York   |   Published 21.08.21, 01:51 AM

As the US and other countries accelerate efforts to get Afghan allies out of the country, Afghan journalists employed by foreign news organisations are facing a more perilous route to safety from the Taliban, and some have been killed.

Despite assurances of amnesty by the regime, a growing number of reports indicate that Taliban are searching for Afghan reporters and in some cases targeting them or members or their families.

The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday that Taliban soldiers who were searching for one of their reporters had killed one member of his family and severely injured another. Taliban fighters also went house-to-house in western Afghanistan to search for two other reporters employed by the agency, it said.

“The Taliban are obviously conducting organised searches for journalists in Kabul and provinces,” the director of Deutsche Welle, Peter Limbourg, said in a statement. “Time is running out.”

The broadcaster, along with several other leading German media outlets, urged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to help them secure passage out of Afghanistan for its employees and their families.

“This letter is a cry for help,” the outlets wrote in an open letter this week, pleading for assistance in getting local Afghan staff and their families out and securing visas for them. “The lives of our local staff are in acute danger.”

Last week, Amdullah Hamdard, 33, who learned English as a teenager and translated for US Special Forces — they gave him the nickname “Huggy Bear” — had spent the last four years working with Die Zeit newspaper. He was murdered by Taliban fighters on the street near his home in Jalalabad, the paper reported.

In recent days, the publishers of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post banded together on evacuation efforts for staff members and their families. Security personnel and editors shared information on morning calls. The publishers called on the Biden administration to help facilitate the passage of their Afghan colleagues.

New York Times News Service



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