LONDON: Three major US news organizations, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Washington Street Journal, urged US President Joe Biden on Monday to evacuate Afghan journalists.
The papers pleaded with the White House to facilitate the safety of over 200 journalists and local staff affiliated with them, currently “in danger” at Kabul airport.
Publishers of the three newspapers drafted a joint letter addressed to Biden, requesting “support for our colleagues and … an unequivocal signal that the government will stand behind the free press.
“For the past 20 years, brave Afghan colleagues have worked tirelessly to help The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal share news and information from the region with the global public. Now those colleagues and their families are trapped in Kabul, their lives in peril,” the joint letter said.
The Post also reportedly plans to help its local employees and their families apply for US visas from third countries.
On Sunday, major German newspapers and media organizations also urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to evacuate Afghan journalists from the country, as the Taliban entered Kabul.
The appeals follow the footsteps of other US and UK media organizations who also urged their respective governments to evacuate their Afghan colleagues from Afghanistan.
The repeated appeals prompted the US State Department to issue a decision to include Afghan journalists in their Refugee Admissions Program.
Afghan journalists, translators, interpreters and fixers have been providing invaluable information from the ground to international media organizations since the 2001 US-led invasion.