A coalition of US news organizations in two different letters to US President Joe Biden and Minority and Majority leaders in the House of representatives asked for granting special US visas for Afghan journalists and support staff.

The twin letters demand less than one thousand special visas for Afghan journalists, interpreters, supporting staff, and their families who have worked with US media.

The letters are co-sent by 24 prominent outlets in the US on 20th July 2021.

The Special Immigration Visa (SIV) program is commended by the coalition as it indicates US commitment for airlifting their Afghan colleagues but is objected in the meantime as it does not reach the media workers in Afghanistan.

US media is deemed as a legitimate target by the Taliban thus the families of Afghans who have worked with the media is directly subjected to these threats.

We are doing what we can as a private organization to support our current and former colleagues in Afghanistan, but without US government assistance the people are facing grave harm in Afghanistan, read the letters.

The letters have also pointed out the similar initiative by President Bush’s administration in 2008 for Iraqi journalists who had worked with US media. The US news organization asked for the same initiative to be launched for Afghans.

Earlier, rights groups had also asked issuance of 2000 visas for female Afghan journalists, politicians, rights advocates, and minorities.

US administration has not commented positively on the issues.

Author


  • Najibullah Lalzoy is a journalist and editor at Khaama Press. He has a BA degree in journalism.