Ahmad Wahid Payman
Reporter in exile
chaos unfolded in Kabul when a number of countries began evacuating endangered Afghan citizens after the fall of the republic in Afghanistan on August 15th. The unrest prompted many people to leave Afghanistan, but without the governments gathering the necessary evidence that “one’s life is in danger or no.”
Afghan journalists are rare among the tens of thousands evacuated by the United States. With the exception of a few who were supported by some media support organizations and are now present in Qatar and Albania.
The number of these people are probably less than 50.
Also, the performance of other countries has not been much better thank the United States, and because of that, a large number of real journalists have been caught in Afghanistan.
Most real and well-known journalists still live in Afghanistan. They are afraid of the Taliban and are in the most difficult security and economic situation. As far as I know, only a handful real journalists have been identified by free media supporter organizations and evacuated from Afghanistan. But their number is very small compared to those who left Afghanistan guise
themslfes as journalists.
If we look at the statistics of the governments, it seems that a large number of Afghans have left the country with the false claim to be journalists. the number of these people reaches thousands. Many international free media support organizations around the world have received thousands new requests to evacuate Afghan journalists.
For example, Reporters without Borders (RSF), based in Germany and France, has received 25,000 new requests from Afghan journalists to leave Afghanistan.
The organization is currently focusing on separating real journalists from fake journalists, but it seems that the efforts of these organizations correct the mistakes of the governments. Because many governments have either stopped the process of evacuating qualified people or have come under public pressure.
Because I’m a Journalist, I know the majority of journalist celebrities in Afghanistan, most of them call me every day.
They were the ones who stood up for democracy. They had become the voice of the people. They revealed corruption by reporting. They reported the violation of the human rights.
They risked their lives in support of democracy in the last 20 years, and as a result, nearly 150 of these journalists have lost their lives in support of democracy. With the investigative reports of these reporters; They revealed those behind the land grabbing, sexual harassment and violating human rights.
These journalists say that now they need the real support of the world, but unfortunately many Western countries have closed their doors and the lives of journalists in Afghanistan are in serious danger.
Unfortunately, there are no statistics based on independent research that show the actual number of journalists who have left Afghanistan. But it is clear that Afghanistan did not have the capacity for tens of thousands of Afghan journalists.
governments alone are not able to identify those at risk, especially journalists.
I know that a number of Afghan citizens present themselves as journalists by preparing fake documents to save themselves from hunger and difficult economic and social conditions. To overcome this challenge, government agencies must seek the help of reputable international media sponsors. International media organizations and journalists should also identify real journalists by looking for more rigorous methods.
The world must hear the voice of Afghan journalists. They have been true defenders of freedom of expression and the voice of the suffering Afghan community. Their voices should not be silenced. They should not live in secret because of their support for democracy. Now that the governments of the world have made mistakes in identifying real journalists, it is imperative that they make up for it as soon as possible with the help of reputable organizations that support journalists. Please identify the real Afghan journalists and make and evacuate them.