Diplomat Ireland & Diplomat Northern Ireland Team with International Partners to Help Journalists in Afghanistan

 Diplomat Ireland & Diplomat Northern Ireland Team with International Partners to Help Journalists in Afghanistan

Miceál O’Hurley
Diplomatic Editor

DUBLIN – Diplomat Ireland & Diplomat Northern Ireland have teamed with our affiliated press organisations, the Foreign Press Association and the Overseas Press Club as well as  the international body Journalists in Distress to provide information and assistance to journalists at risk in Afghanistan.  This includes working through the United States Department of State, the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul, the Government of Canada and Journalists in Distress.

The U.S. State Department
On August 2nd, the State Department announced it was expanding eligibility to its U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) Priority 2 Designation to Afghan nationals who worked for U.S.-based media organizations and their family members. Afghan nationals cannot apply to the program themselves; the most senior employee of the organization they worked for must submit the referral package to USRAPAfghanReferrals@state.gov. Once that package is deemed complete, and the Afghan national has made their own way to a third country, the processing of their application will begin, which can take months. Here is more about the program, and here are instructions for employees on how to refer someone.

Pakistan
The Pakistan Embassy in Kabul has decided to facilitate visas for journalists and media professionals in Afghanistan. Here is information on how to apply.

Canada
Canada announced plans to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans “who contributed to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan,” including journalists. To apply, email canada-afghanistan@international.gc.ca.

Journalists in Distress
The Journalists in Distress group (JID) is made up of 18 international organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, that provide direct assistance to journalists and media workers. For more information, please contact emeregncies@cpj.org

Diplomat Ireland & Diplomat Northern Ireland Assistance
If you are aware of a journalist at risk and seeking to leave Afghanistan, please provide them with the links above.  These are direct links to getting VISA and travel information for journalists.  IN case of emergency, ring Miceál O’Hurley at +353 86 107 0017 (24 hours – after hours emergency only).

Diplomat Ireland & Diplomat Ireland are working through our international journalist organisations, diplomatic contacts and NGO resources to determine what if any assistance can be provided to Afghani journalists.  At this time, few if any resources have yet to be identified to assist them.  This is an urgent priority.

Everyone at Diplomat Ireland and Diplomat Northern Ireland continue to work for the safety and safe return of all journalists who wish to leave Afghanistan and for the continued safety and protection of press freedoms for those brave women and main who remain in Afghanistan in these dangerous and uncertain times.

Appeal to Diplomats
We call on all members of the Diplomatic Corps to use every effort to urge the Taliban to safeguard journalists (both international and Afghani), and work to facilitate the exit or evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghani journalists at risk.  We also join our colleagues in the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) appeal for all governments to cooperate in providing assistance to help evacuate journalists and to protect those who remain as well as protect press freedoms throughout Afghanistan.

Diplomats who are aware of special programmes or avenues of assistance from their governments or NGOs are urged to contact Miceál O’Hurley at +353 86 107 0017 or by email at:   miceal.ohurley@diplomat.ie

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