Government must immediately offer refuge to Afghan media workers, says MEAA

MEAA, together with the International Federation of Journalists, has called on the Australian Government to take urgent action to provide humanitarian visas to Afghan journalists and media workers.

The two organisations wrote to Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke and Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wong, highlighting the threats posed by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

So far in 2021, more than 30 media workers have been killed, wounded, kidnapped or tortured in Afghanistan since the beginning of 2021. Last week, a woman journalist reported that she is on the run after being told that the Talban is hunting her. One journalist was gunned down by Taliban militants and a TV journalist has been kidnapped. The Taliban are not just going after journalists, and particularly women journalists, but all media workers including drivers, interpreters, fixers, office administration and security personnel.

MEAA Media federal president Marcus Strom said: “MEAA stands with journalists in Afghanistan who are being targeted because of the work they do and urges the Australian government to include media workers in any humanitarian visa offerings. The Taliban are ruthless and reports from Afghanistan indicate they are already looking to silence their critics.

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