Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, it has radically changed the lives of Afghan female journalists who were once able to enjoy freedom and practice their professions, but who now flee daily to avoid being killed.
The Taliban has started to use any means at its disposal to track down people they consider to be a threat to their rule.
Such is the case of women journalists who used to provide daily coverage and are now forced to hide from the Taliban, fearing for their lives and for those who help them hide.
Afghan female journalists: “If they find me, they will kill me”
“I don’t know what will happen to me, because if they find me, they will kill me,” a female journalist told Fox News on condition of anonymity. The media outlet decided to withhold her identity to protect her.
The Afghan journalist said she changes location every day to hide after she was prevented from entering the newsroom where she worked.
Likewise, another journalist interviewed this week by Fox News said she was a particular target since she was publicly a frequent critic of the Taliban. “They are checking for the people who always talked against them,” she said. “Every day, I change my address to make sure they can’t trace me.”
Another Afghan journalist told Fox News that she was also barred from her newsroom because she was a woman. “I didn’t want to leave Afghanistan, but my mom forced me to leave because I am a woman and a journalist,” she said.
The journalist said she was in her final year of law school and dreamed of becoming a judge or international lawyer, however she believes she will no longer be that person she dreamed of.
“And the very basic rights as a human that I have to speak, to go out of my home, to choose everything I want, it’s gone. There is no hope for me, for my generation, for my people, for females, especially for the journalists, who are very afraid,” she said.
“It feels like the end of the story and the end of Afghanistan for me,” she concluded.
Afghan journalists from the American media refugee in Mexico
The New York Times resented Joe Biden’s administration for not implementing efforts to save the lives of its journalists in Afghanistan.
The Times thanked Mexico for giving refuge to its Afghan journalists and reproached the United States for the immigration “bureaucracy” that prevents it from protecting its journalists.
“Mexican officials, unlike their counterparts in the United States, managed to overcome the bureaucracy of their immigration system to quickly provide the documents that, in turn, allowed the Afghans to fly from Kabul’s beleaguered airport to Doha, Qatar. The documents promised that the Afghans would receive temporary humanitarian protection in Mexico while they explored future options in the United States or other countries,” the Times notes.
“Although the United States has increased its evacuation flights, the politicized and bureaucratic American immigration system has struggled to respond to the crisis. Processing the special visas available to journalists often requires them to spend at least a year in a third country, presumably to satisfy forces that warn that Muslim immigrants could be terrorists working deep undercover,” the newspaper recounted.
This is how the lives of thousands of journalists changed overnight due to the withdrawal of American troops and the arrival of the Taliban back in power. Now both male and female journalists are fleeing to protect their lives, and secretly seek refuge to start from scratch once again.