Taliban fighters are seen in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan, on August 9, 2021. Suspected Taliban militants recently killed journalist Toofan Omar and kidnapped Nematullah Hemat. (AP/Abdullah Sahil)

As US pulls out of Afghanistan, journalists fear for their lives

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In Afghanistan, as violence escalates against the backdrop of the ongoing U.S. military withdrawal, suspected Taliban militants killed an Afghan journalist and kidnapped another, and Taliban fighters shot at a car carrying two Afghan journalists. CPJ continues to call on the U.S. to act to save Afghan journalists’ lives. “Over the past 20 years, independent media has proliferated in Afghanistan,” CPJ’s executive director, Joel Simon, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post. “But unless the U.S. government intervenes to bring them to safety, an entire generation of reporters will be lost.”

Global press freedom updates

  • Indian journalist stabbed to death in Andhra Pradesh
  • Mexican news anchor Azucena Uresti threatened in video by alleged gang leader
  • Pakistan authorities detain, investigate journalists Amir Mir and Imran Shafqat
  • In Poland, lawmakers vote to pass legislation limiting press freedom
  • Kashmir police raid homes of journalist Qazi Shibli and his family
  • Kyrgyzstan parliament approves “false information” bill
  • Bangladesh authorities harass, threaten two Rohingya journalists
  • CPJ joins call urging Zambia to maintain internet access during elections
  • Former Capital Gazette editor spoke to CPJ about justice and healing after worst newsroom shooting in U.S. history


Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of journalist Austin Tice, hold up photos of him during a press conference at the Press Club in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 20, 2017. (AP/Bilal Hussein)

While reporting on the conflict in Syria in 2012, freelance American photojournalist Austin Tice was detained at a checkpoint and his family has not heard from him since. This week they celebrated his 40th birthday and marked nine years since he went missing.

For nearly a decade, Tice’s family and colleagues have fought tirelessly for his freedom. Show your support for Tice and his family by signing this petition calling upon the Biden administration to #FreeAustinTice and provide desperately needed answers to his family. 

Tice’s experience is emblematic of the bravery and dangers for freelancers around the world. CPJ counted 93 freelance journalists imprisoned in its 2020 prison census, six missing globally this year, and 262 killed in relation to their work since 1992.

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