US House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (Photo Credit: Reuters)
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (Photo Credit: Reuters)

US strands over 500 journalists in Afghanistan: Congressman Michael McCaul

ANI | Updated: Sep 01, 2021 08:38 IST

Washington DC [US], September 1 (ANI): More than 500 journalists and their families who were employed by the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) were abandoned by the State Department in Afghanistan, senior Republican on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul said.
"It is absolutely disgraceful the U.S. State Department claimed they evacuated their local employees when in reality they abandoned hundreds of USAGM journalists and their families," McCaul said in a statement on Tuesday. "Some of these journalists were given assurances by the Biden Administration that they would be treated as locally employed staff - but were not."
McCaul said that only 50 staffers from the US media agency were evacuated, thanks to efforts by US allies and not the United States government. The United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) is a networked global media agency that oversees five US-funded media outlets, including Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

McCaul stated that pleas from his office to help one of the journalists, his wife, and infant child have been repeatedly ignored. "My office was working with one of these journalists and tried for two weeks to get attention brought to his case so he, his wife, and his infant child could be saved - but our pleas were ignored," he said.
Republican Representative further called on President Joe Biden and the State Department to rapidly find ways to get these people to safety and away from the threats.
According to US media reports, some 250,000 Afghans eligible for expedited US visas remained in the country in the month of August when American forces could only evacuate about 20,000 daily.
The US completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan on August 30, ending one of its longest wars. In a matter of few weeks, US and Coalition forces evacuated more than 123,000 civilians out of Afghanistan and slightly more than 6,000 of them were US citizens. (ANI)