European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivers a speech on the situation in Afghanistan at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on September 14, 2021. Borrell and Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson are convening a forum to discuss Afghan resettlement in the EU. (Julien Warnand/ Pool/AP)

CPJ calls on EU states to prioritize safe passage for fleeing Afghan journalists

Brussels, September 27, 2021 – At the upcoming High-level Resettlement Forum, European Union officials must commit to helping Afghan journalists resettle in EU member states, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

The forum, scheduled for October 7, has been convened by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.

 “Journalists fleeing Afghanistan have received far too little support from governments around the world and their safe passage must now become a political priority,” said Tom Gibson, CPJ’s EU representative.  “EU member states must make clear commitments to Afghan journalists fleeing persecution, including concrete and collaborative strategies for their evacuation and resettlement.  The EU has a duty not to turn the other way.”

Since August, CPJ has covered the worsening situation in Afghanistan for media workers as Taliban fighters attack and detain journalists, force female reporters off the air, and imperil the country’s independent press. CPJ has been working to support fleeing Afghan journalists in need of emergency assistance and evacuation.

In recent conclusions published by the Council of the European Union, member states did not voice clear commitments to aid in the resettling of high-risk Afghans in their own countries.