KABUL – Pajhwok Afghan News has learned that as many as 108 Afghan journalists and media workers had left Afghanistan to seek asylum in foreign countries during the past one year.
These individuals mainly worked in information technology and translation sections at different media outlets in Afghanistan before leaving the country.
Since early 2015, five workers of Shamshad TV, 21 of 1TV, six workers of Pajhwok Afghan News, two of Maiwand TV, as many of the Killid Media Group, 10 of Aryana TV, 12 of Moby Group, two of Niga TV, two of Zwandon TV, one of Arzo TV, two of Mitra TV, six of Ayna TV, two of Tamaddon TV, one of Rushd News Agency, one of Kabul News TV, four Daily Outlook Afghanistan and two of Khurshid TV have left the country.
In addition, 12 workers of local media in Herat, seven in Balkh, six in Kunduz, four in Nangrahar and two media officials from Bamyan had also left the country.
Javed Stanikzai, newscaster at Maiwand TV, sought asylum in Belgium. He told Pajhwok Afghan News insecurity and unemployment forced him into leaving Afghanistan.
Emal Ahmadzai, a talented journalist with Pajhwok Afghan News, also cited insecurity as main reason behind his decision to leave Afghanistan.
Sadiqullah Tawhidi, head of free media advocacy group NAI, said the continued insurgency and social insecurity to blame for the immigration of youth, including media officials from Afghanistan.
He said asylum seeking by media men soared after Taliban’s attack on workers of Moby Group.
He lamented the government was taking no effective steps to protect media outlets from attacks, adding that only Tolo and 1TV had been provided security.