Media Freedom Coalition’s Co-Chairs’ Statement on the membership of Afghanistan

Canada and the Netherlands, as co-chairs of the Media Freedom Coalition (MFC),
give notice that, effective today, Afghanistan has been removed as a member of theMFC. This decision was taken in consultation with the MFC membership and as perthe Coalition’s Terms of Reference.

Afghanistan became a member country of the MFC in January 2020, when thegovernment of President Ashraf Ghani committed to the Global Pledge on MediaFreedom. All MFC member countries committed to respect and uphold the GlobalPledge, and are held accountable by members if they fail to do so.

It is clear to the MFC that the situation of media freedom in Afghanistan is, unfortunately,
no longer in line with the Global Pledge. Indeed, the current state of affairs is one of graveconcern.

Since seizing power, the Taliban have imposed serious restrictions on media freedom thathave threatened the safety and well-being of journalists and media workers. Thecontinued harassment, attacks, and detention of journalists and exclusion of women fromthe media have led to a rapid loss of media independence and put journalists’ lives at riskdaily.

The Media Freedom Coalition will continue to closely monitor the media freedomsituation in Afghanistan and reaffirms the commitment of members to the principlesoutlined in the Global Pledge on Media Freedom.

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