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US media coalition urges Biden administration to grant special visas to Afghan journalists

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Washington | July 22, 2021 1:15:03 PM IST
A coalition of US news organisations on Tuesday wrote two different letters to the US president Joe Biden and leaders in the house of representatives, urging them to grant special immigration visas to Afghan journalists and support staff.

The letters were jointly sent by twenty-four prominent media outlets, demanding less than one thousand special visas for Afghan journalists, interpreters, supporting staff, and their families who have worked with US media, The Khaama Press reported.

"We are doing what we can as a private organization to support our current and former colleagues in Afghanistan, but without US government assistance the people are facing grave harm in Afghanistan, read the letters," the letters said.

US media has been on Taliban's target for a long time, thus the families of Afghans who have worked with the media are directly subjected to these threats, The Khaama Press reported.

Recently, the United States has launched an operation to evacuate Afghans who helped US troops during the war in Afghanistan and are facing threats to their lives from the Taliban.

The Special Immigration Visa (SIV) program is commended by the coalition as it indicates US commitment to airlifting their Afghan colleagues but is objected to in the meantime as it does not reach the media workers in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has witnessed a spike in violence in Afghanistan as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.

The withdrawal is about 95 per cent done, U.S. Central Command said this week. One of the last major steps in the withdrawal happened Monday when Gen. Scott Miller, who was the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, left his command. (ANI)

 
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