NMA Backs Call To Protect Journalists In Afghanistan

The News Media Association has backed the industry’s call to Boris Johnson to act on his promise to evacuate Afghan journalists who have helped shine a spotlight on recent events in the country.  

In an open letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, news media organisations including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph called for action to protect Afghan journalists and translators.

The media organisations said: “When British media organisations wrote to you earlier this month about the grave Taliban threat to Afghan journalists and translators who had worked with us, you responded almost immediately.

“You recognised their vital contribution to a free press by reporting on the British mission in Afghanistan and promised colleagues at risk a path to safety. President Biden did the same in the United States.

“But now, the Taliban has arrived in Kabul and our colleagues are trapped there. With evacuation flights resuming, we need you to act on your promise to protect those who worked with journalists and get them to safety outside Afghanistan.

“As we are sure you have seen, our American colleagues have asked for and expect the same. Given the threats to the safety of Afghan journalists, we ask the British Government to urgently take these steps to protect our colleagues.”

NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “Journalists have played a critical role covering the military operations over the last two decades and in shining a powerful spotlight on recent events in Afghanistan. The UK Government must now act swiftly in defence of a free press by taking all the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of these journalists and those who have supported their work.”