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 the MFC. This decision was taken in consultation with the MFC membership and as per the Coalition’s Terms of Reference.

Afghanistan became a member country of the MFC in January 2020, when the government of President Ashraf Ghani committed to the Global Pledge on Media Freedom. All MFC member countries committed to respect and uphold the Global Pledge, 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 grave concern.

Since seizing power, the Taliban have imposed serious restrictions on media freedom that have threatened the safety and well-being of journalists and media workers. The continued harassment, attacks, and detention of journalists and exclusion of women from the media have led to a rapid loss of media independence and put journalists’ lives at risk daily.

The Media Freedom Coalition will continue to closely monitor the media freedom situation in Afghanistan and reaffirms the commitment of members to the principles outlined in the Global Pledge on Media Freedom.

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