Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Petition Calls on World to Protect Afghan Journalists, Artists

Petition Calls on World to  Protect Afghan Journalists, Artists

KABUL - More than 80 personalities--including well-known actresses Juliette Binoche and Tilda Swinton--have signed a petition initiated by Afghan-French author and filmmaker Atiq Rahimi, Afghan filmmaker Siddiq Barmak, and Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, calling on the international community to grant asylum or other assistance to Afghan journalists, artists and independent filmmakers who are now especially vulnerable as the Taliban increasingly gains territory in the country amid the US troop withdrawal.
The open letter noted that while the US is providing visa opportunities for interpreters and other Afghan staff who had worked for US forces, there are limited provisions for journalists and artists--including independent filmmakers--whose lives are at risk.
"The international coalition in Afghanistan has made it a priority to save the lives of local translators and their families. But it seems that no one cares about Afghan journalists, artists and independent filmmakers. They are priority targets for the Taliban, whose relentless hatred for culture and civilization needs no further proof!"  an English version of the statement reads, adding: "They are not only the conscience of their people, but, like all artists, the conscience of all mankind, against whom the Taliban--the barbarian fanatics--have declared war."
Those who signed the petition include filmmakers, writers, actors and journalists.
The petition says: "Let’s help these witnesses of barbarism, against whom these fundamentalists have declared war. We must act urgently to protect their lives, ensure their security in Afghanistan, or grant them political asylum in free/democratic countries."
"Otherwise," the petition concludes, "their killing by the Taliban will weigh heavily on our conscience and the horror of fundamentalism will win over the humanist dawn! Let's open the doors of all the embassies to them." (TOLO NEWS)