Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 18, 2021. Taliban militants have recently searched the homes of at least four members of the press. (AP/Rahmat Gul)

At risk: An entire generation of Afghan reporters

The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.

With the Taliban in power, the situation for journalists in Afghanistan has become even more dire. Militants searched the homes of at least four journalists and news agency employees, and a journalist seeking safety told CPJ she worries she may not be alive by the time help comes. PBS NewsHour correspondent Jane Ferguson described the situation for local journalists forced to flee their homes as “heartbreaking,” saying “they want to continue living their lives and doing the jobs that they love.”

CPJ has registered and vetted the cases of more than 350 journalists seeking safety as of August 19, and there are more than a thousand cases under review.

CPJ calls on the Taliban to stand by its public commitment to allow a free and independent media. CPJ has also urged the United States and other countries to ensure the safety of Afghan journalists by facilitating safe passage out of the country and providing emergency visas.

Global press freedom updates

  • Indian journalist Manish Kumar Singh found dead in Bihar state
  • Russia refuses to renew visa for BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford, forcing her to leave the country
  • CPJ testifies to U.S. Congress on threats to press freedom in Morocco
  • Belarus authorities jail Belarusian journalist Syarhey Hardzievich and in a separate incident search the homes of BelaPAN news agency employees; a Belarusian court also bans as “extremist” news websites Tut.by and Zerkalo.io
  • #HoldTheLine Coalition welcomes dismissal of cyber libel charge against Maria Ressa and calls for remaining charges to be dropped
  • Jammu and Kashmir police assault journalists covering religious procession
  • Turkish commentator Emre Erciş shot in leg in Istanbul
  • Algerian journalist Rabah Karèche sentenced to one year in prison on false news and anti-state charges
  • Nicaraguan police raid La Prensa offices, detain publisher
  • Exiled Iranian columnist Nejat Bahrami spoke to CPJ about his time in Iran’s Evin prison
  • Algeria shuts down Lina TV
  • Cambodian authorities force reporters to delete photos, video of protest
  • The former colleague of missing Burundian journalist Jean Bigirimana talks about his effort to solve the case
  • U.K. court allows expanded U.S. appeal for Assange extradition


A woman holds a placard with a picture of Daphne Caruana Galizia during a protest demanding justice over the murder of the journalist outside the Court of Justice in Valletta, Malta, January 5, 2020. (Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

CPJ welcomed Maltese authorities’ indictment of Yorgen Fenech for the murder of  investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb in Malta in 2017.

The decision marks an important milestone in the ongoing fight against impunity in Caruana Galizia’s case by her family, journalists, CPJ, and many other civil society organizations, and sends a message globally that those responsible for her murder must be held accountable.

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