IFJ success story: Afghan women journalist arrives in New Zealand

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the IFJ has received thousands of requests for assistance from journalists and media workers on the ground, ranging from evacuation to financial assistance and emergency housing. The IFJ has committed to assisting with as many cases as possible, lobbying international governments to increase their humanitarian efforts and fast track the applications of those media workers fleeing Afghanistan.

Image: Mursal (right) and her two siblings on the night of their trip to New Zealand.

One such case is that of Mursal*, a prominent journalist and activist, who worked with both national and international media organisations in Afghanistan. Mursal is a strong advocate for women’s rights and worked as a women's affairs reporter with several international media outlets. After initially fleeing to Pakistan, Mursal only had limited time on a temporary visa before she would have been forced to return to Afghanistan, which, due to her profile and activism for Afghan women’s issues, would have been posed a significant danger to her safety.

With lobbying from the IFJ Asia Pacific, Mursal was able to secure a New Zealand visa under the country’s humanitarian intake for human rights defenders. After nearly three months of coordination between the IFJ and Immigration New Zealand, she safely arrived in Auckland in February 2022, with her two siblings, both former lawyers in Afghanistan. Sadly, Mursal leaves behind her parents and family in Afghanistan, as do so many evacuating Afghanistan, and hopes to have them join her in New Zealand as soon as possible. The IFJ wishes to thank the New Zealand Government, and Immigration New Zealand, who have continued to stand in solidarity with Afghan journalists and media workers, for their tireless effort on these crucial cases. 

Image: Mursal (right) and her two siblings on the night of their trip to New Zealand.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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