Afghan journalists flag evacuations of imposters with fake documents
Kabul, Sep 27 (EFE).- Journalists and civil society activists in Afghanistan alleged on Monday that thousands of people have been or are set to be evacuated as mediapersons or activists by using fake documents, while the real members of the profession remain stuck in the country despite being at risk.
“Owners and organizers of media outlets, media support groups and civil society organizations have made fake documents for thousands of their relatives and other people and evacuated them or are trying to evacuate them under the name of journalists and civil society activists” Nasir Akhtarzai, one of the founders of the Afghanistan Civil Society and Journalist Group (ACSAJG), told EFE.
The ACSAJG, a group formed by over 1,000 journalists, held a press conference on Monday and claimed that a massive of people had applied to be evacuated under the category of media and civil society members after the Taliban took control of the country on Aug. 15.
Akhtarzai cited the example of a TV channel, which used to broadcast music, that allegedly used its foreign connections for “trying to evacuate tens of their own relatives, while they had no journalists in their channel at all.”
“The real journalists and civil society members have remained in Kabul and their lives are really at risk,” he insisted.
Akhtarzai urged foreign countries to “assess and verify” the documents of applicants and evacuate only “eligible” journalists who were really at risk.
“Currently there is no organization in Afghanistan to be responsible for this situation, to hear the concerns of journalists and to find a way out,” he said.
According to the ASCAJG, most journalists in Afghanistan have now lost their jobs or are receiving meager salaries that do not cover their livelihood.
The United States and other western countries have evacuated more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country.
The process was highly chaotic and many people whose names figured in evacuation lists were unable to enter the Kabul airport due to massive crowds, even as flights took off in a scramble and a terror attack killed over 170 people outside the terminal.