An organization known as the “Freedom Network,” supported by the European Union, has established a support center to assist Afghan journalists residing in Pakistan.
Reporters Without Borders says the program will support a hundred journalists who were forced to go to Pakistan following recent events.
The program’s goals include negotiating with the Pakistani government to ensure the safety of journalists, providing opportunities for work in the host country, legal aid, and conducting workshops to empower journalists.
Reporters Without Borders states that currently, about two hundred Afghan journalists are living in Pakistan.
These journalists had to flee their homeland after the Taliban took complete control of Afghanistan in August 2021.
Over the past two years, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on freedom of speech and media activities, imprisoning a large number of journalists.
Reporters Without Borders notes that Afghan journalists in Pakistan face an uncertain future, administrative difficulties, lack of resources, and harassment by Pakistani police.
Given the new program by the Pakistani government for the mass expulsion of Afghan refugees and migrants, these journalists, like hundreds of thousands of other refugees, face the threat of being deported from Pakistan back to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Since August 2021, the majority of media outlets in Afghanistan have ceased operations due to stringent restrictions and a scarcity of resources. Consequently, many journalists have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including Iran and Pakistan, with the ultimate aim of reaching Western countries.
In the wake of these media shutdowns, journalists have been forced to flee their homeland, looking for safety and the freedom to continue their work. Their journey often takes them through these neighboring countries as they aspire to secure a future in more open and secure societies.