Men attempt to break into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 16, 2021.
Stringer | Reuters
The editors of three major US newspapers asked President Joe Biden on Monday to help fellow Afghan journalists evacuate Afghanistan.
Inquiries from the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal came after asking the White House to keep more than 200 journalists and newspaper associates “in danger” “in danger” at Kabul airport bring.
The Post’s editor, Fred Ryan, emailed National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan an “urgent request” to move them from the civil side of Hamid Karzai International Airport “to the military side, where they can be safe, while waiting for evacuation flights ”.
“They are currently in danger and need the US government to keep them safe,” wrote Ryan in the email he wrote on behalf of the three newspapers.
Afghan people are waiting to leave Kabul Airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021 after a surprisingly quick end to the 20-year war in Afghanistan as thousands of people besieged the city’s airport to face the dreaded hard-line Islamist rule to flee the group.
Deputy Kohsar | AFP | Getty Images
Ryan wrote that 204 journalists, auxiliaries and family members from the three newspapers are stuck on the civilian side of the airport.
Later on Monday, Ryan, Times Publisher AG Sulzberger, and Journal Publisher Almar Latour Biden sent a joint letter asking him to get Afghan newspaper-related colleagues out of the country.
“For the past twenty years, brave Afghan colleagues have worked tirelessly to help the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal share news and information from the region with the world,” the letter said.
“Now these colleagues and their families are trapped in Kabul, their lives are in danger.”
“As an employer, we are looking for support for our colleagues and, as journalists, we are looking for a clear signal that the government stands behind the free press,” the editors wrote. “In this light, we ask the American government to act urgently and take three specific steps that are necessary to protect its security.”
In the letter, Biden was expressly requested to grant his Afghan colleagues “easier and protected access to the airport controlled by the US”; “Safe passage through a protected access gate to the airport”; and “facilitated air movement out of the country.”
After the Taliban captured the capital Kabul, thousands of Afghans streamed across the airport’s runway on Monday.
Kamal Alam, a non-resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council and senior advisor to the Massoud Foundation, told CNBC, “Nobody can really walk.”
“If you don’t have a visa or a passport, you won’t go,” said Alam, who is stuck in Afghanistan.
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