Afghanistan: Journalists unions mobilise to protect Afghan media workers

UPDATED 26.08.21 As the Taliban now control the country, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates have called on governments and the international community to provide immediate support and protection to Afghan media workers and their families who are under threat. Here is a non-exhaustive list of ongoing demands.

A participant holds up a placard during a demonstration near the Chancellery in Berlin on August 17, 2021, to demand the safe passage and airlift out of Afghanistan. Credits: JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP


Belgium: The Flemish Organisation of Journalists (VVJ) and the Association des Journalistes Professionels (AJP) are in dialogue with the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration regarding demands from afghan journalists seeking asylum.

The Belgian government has agreed to provide asylum to 3 female journalists facing threats.

Croatia: The Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) and the Croatia Journalists’ Association (CJA) sent a letter calling on the Croatian government to help Afghan journalists, especially female journalists. “TUJC calls on Croatian government to expand refugee visa programmes for Afghan journalists

Cyprus: The Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) has joined the solidarity campaign and has called on its government to assist Afghan journalists as much as possible. "The dominance of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a blow to journalism"

Denmark: The Danish Union of Journalists (Dansk Journalistforbund - DJ) supports the evacuation of journalists from Afghanistan and is in contact with media organisations to try to get Afghan media workers to safety. "DJ støtter evakuering af journalister i Afghanistan"

Finland: The Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF) has called on the authorities to extend the protection policy to include Afghans working for the Finnish media. "UJF: journalists in Afghanistan need immediate help"

France: The SNJ and SNJ-CGT wrote an open letter to the French government demanding the issuing of emergency visas for threatened Afghan journalists and fixers. “Sauvons nos confrères afghans !

The unions are also helping individual Afghan journalists access the French emergency visa scheme.

The SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT-Journalistes issued a joint statement reminding the French government of its repatriation commitments, and calling on the French media to do everything they can to assist Afghan media workers who will arrive in the country. "Journalistes afghans : il est encore temps !"

Germany: The Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) has called on the German federal government to allow Afghan journalists, media professionals and interpreters to enter Germany. “Afghanistan: Journalisten einreissen lassen

The Deutsche journalistinnen und journalisten union (dju in ver.di) has called on the federal government to ensure that all people at risk are evacuated immediately.

Italy: The Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) has expressed its concern for Afghan journalists, especially women, and has called for international solidarity. "Afghanistan, appello delle giornaliste italiane per i diritti delle donne e la libera informazione".

The Italian government has agreed to host Afghan journalists fleeing Kabul.

Macedonia: SSNM has called on the Macedonian Government to grant humanitarian visas to Afghan colleagues.  At least 10 journalists have already been granted asylum and government has agreed to work with IFJ/EFJ to accomodate more.

Netherlands: The Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ) has called for visas for Afghan journalists who have worked for the Dutch media. NVJ roept op: geef visum aan Afghaanse journalisten die voor Nederlandse media werkten.

Thanks to the union's campaign, the Dutch government has agreed to relocate 15 journalists and family members.

Portugal: The Union of Portuguese Journalists has called on the Prime Minister and the Portuguese government to help Afghan journalists.

Spain: The Federación de Servicios a la Ciudadano de CC.OO (FSC-CC.OO) has called on the Spanish government to provide support to all those who have collaborated with Spain. It also calls on the international community to create a humanitarian corridor for asylum seekers wishing to leave Afghanistan, and provide shelter for those forced to flee the country. “Los derechos humanos, especialmente los de las mujeres, en grave riesgo en Afganistán

The Federación de Asociaciones de la Prensa Española (FAPE) has joined the IFJ's solidarity campaign with Afghan journalists and supports the urgent appeal to the international community to keep Afghanistan's borders open to all who wish to leave the country. "La FAPE expresa su preocupación por la dramática situación de los periodistas afganos"

The Federación de Sindicatos de Periodistas (FeSP) has joined the IFJ's solidarity campaign and has called on the Spanish government to include Afghan media professionals in the evacuation.

United Kingdom: The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has initiated talks with the UK’s Foreign Office and the BBC to provide exit solutions to all media workers working with BBC newsrooms, as well as their families. “Unions respond to Afghan media crisis

The NUJ has also called on the UK government to put in place specific measures for journalists and media workers under its anticipated resettlement scheme and step up its efforts to deliver their safe passage out of Afghanistan. “UK government must offer urgent sanctuary to journalists fleeing Afghanistan

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has called on European governments to expand refugee visa programmes for Afghan journalists

Asia & Pacific

Australia: The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has urged the Australian government to provide humanitarian visas to Afghan journalists and media workers. “Government must immediately offer refuge to Afghan media workers

The MEAA, along with all of Australia's other major media organisations, has also written to Foreign Minister Marise Payne calling for the Australian government's urgent assistance to Afghan media workers.

India: The National Union of Journalists India (NUJ-I) has expressed its solidarity towards media workers in Afghanistan, and calls on the entire media community to be united to protect media freedom in the country. NUJ-I's statement.

Pakistan: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has urged its government to take immediate steps to safely rescue all working journalists and their families trapped in Afghanistan. PFUJ’s statement.

The PFUJ has also helped secure safe passage for dozens of Afghan journalists.

Sri Lanka: The Free Media Movement (FMM) advocates for the "security and freedom of all journalists in Afghanistan" and urges the Taliban to "immediately stop attacking journalists and search their homes and allow journalists to work freely without fear or violence or retaliation." FMM's statement.

The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions (FMETU) of Sri Lanka, has appealed to the Taliban militants to stop intimidating and attacking journalists and media workers in Afghanistan and to allow workers of media institutions to carry out their duty freely and without fear of violence or
reprisal. FMETU's statement.

New Zealand: E Tu has pushed for government to include anyone who helped the Burnham inquiry in the evacuation from Kabul.

North America

Canada: The Communications Workers of America (CWA Canada) and UNIFOR are helping numerous media workers under threat to apply for resettlement under the special scheme for journalists.

USA: Five unions including our IFJ affiliates NWU, SAG-AFTRA and NewsGuild-CWA have pressed Joe Biden to aid Afghan journalists and stand behind a free press 

Several news organisations have also offered their support to Afghan media professionals and called on their government to act to protect journalists and their families. We call on other newsrooms to follow their example.

Canada: New media have requested assistance for afghan journalists and their families who have supported Canada 

US: The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to move urgently and take concrete steps to protect the safety of Afghan media workers who have been working for US media organisations, as well as their families. Statement to President Biden from The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The Washington Post also evacuated its Afghan employees and family members from Kabul.

Germany: Deutsche Welle urges the German government to help their employees in Afghanistan.

United Kingdom: Media organisations wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urging them to act on their promises and evacuate Afghan journalists.


The IFJ and its affiliates are providing safe houses to journalists in need, helping them leave the country or providing financial support to those who have lost their jobs. To help the IFJ and its affiliates protect afghan journalists ask your government to grant emergency visa to Afghan media professionals or/and make a donationto the IFJ safety fund. 

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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