Mexico welcomes more than 100 Afghan journalists escaping the Taliban

According to the statement, the group of 124 people whose lives will be at risk in Afghanistan includes media workers and their families, including children. They arrived at Mexico City International Airport early Wednesday morning.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the decision to offer journalists protection was “in line with Mexico’s historic position.”

“It’s about people who are risking their lives to inform, to communicate; people who are committed to free speech,” he said, adding that the group included local reporters and staff from “” many media have applied for humanitarian visas to Mexico. to the latest events.”

The State Department added in the statement that travel and living expenses during their stay in Mexico would be covered by private donors and civil society organisations.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has warned that Afghan journalists face extreme dangers amid the Taliban takeover.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), at least three female Afghan journalists have been killed this year, while one was shot dead by a gunman in December 2020.

New York Times journalist Michael Slackman speaks during a press conference welcoming a group of journalists and media reporters to Mexico.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that a group of Afghans working for the newspaper along with their families were part of the group.

According to a statement from the Mexican Foreign Ministry, the New York Times International News Director, Michael Slackman, thanked Mexico for its support and “the prompt dispatch of safe transportation by the Mexican government to the journalist.”

In the statement, Slackman also called on “the entire international community to follow this example and continue to work on behalf of the brave Afghan journalists who are still in danger.”

Western news agencies are working to evacuate local journalists from Afghanistan

RSF says the Taliban have imposed harsh constraints on the news media – even as they have promised to protect press freedom.

“Officially, the new Afghan authorities have not issued any regulations, but the media and reporters are being treated arbitrarily,” RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

The group says at least ten journalists have been subjected to violence or threats while working on the streets of Kabul and Jalalabad over the past week.

Many Western media present in Afghanistan have evacuate their foreign reporters and local staff in recent weeks, following the Taliban takeover.


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