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US must plan evacuation of Afghan journalists: RSF

ANI | Updated: Aug 23, 2021 00:43 IST

Paris [France], August 23 (ANI): Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on US President Joe Biden to draw a special plan for evacuating endangered Afghan journalists and human rights defenders.
This comes as the United States is conducting large-scale evacuation operations in Afghanistan. Thousands of people are being shifted out of the war-ravaged country to the US and other partner countries.
According to the RSF, the evacuation plans prepared by other countries, including European ones, are being held up by the way access to aircraft is being managed. This is blocking the evacuation of those on the lists (provided by NGOs such as RSF) of sensitive persons who are in danger.

"To allow their evacuation, RSF calls for a postponement of the end of US military operations in Afghanistan beyond the date currently envisaged. It will be materially impossible to complete the evacuation of all those in great danger, including Afghan journalists, by August 31," RSF said.
One of the objectives of the plan requested by RSF would be the creation of access and identification facilities for journalists and human rights defenders who are on the lists of different countries and organisations, the statement added.
"The image of the United States as a defender of press freedom and human rights is at stake," RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
"Since Joe Biden's election as US president, very positive signals have been sent and initiatives have been taken in many countries that we have welcomed. We now expect the provisions for the safety of endangered Afghan journalists to match these undertakings and aspirations. We are receiving dozens and dozens of urgent evacuation requests. Our problem today is not getting visas or seats on planes, it is making it possible for these people to access planes." (ANI)