Urgent Help needed for Afghan Journalists, Cultural Workers, and Civil Society Activists
Since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban on August 15th, life has turned into a terrifying scramble for millions of Afghans, including the people Community Supported Film (CSFilm) works with.
Over the last decade CSFilm has trained, mentored and collaborated on the production of Afghan documentary films. This year we launched Afghanistan21-LookListenLocal. These are journalists, filmmakers, cultural workers, and civil society activists whose lives are in danger.
A night and day race to get them out of the country started at the beginning of August. We have contacted government agencies and policymakers, embassies, our international network, and online communities to find and secure evacuation routes.
So far, out of 25 families, twelve families have made it past violent Taliban checkpoints, through crushing crowds, across the country on packed buses, on to planes and into other countries. Two families have fled into Iran.
With the disengagement of the international community, some families no longer have an avenue out of Afghanistan. We are still working to get seven high risk families out to the United States or another safe havens. We get multiple emails a day from others desperate for help.
Pro bono lawyers across the country are helping us to file for emergency visas and asylum. Each case is individually crafted and documented. The legal effort may or may not gain them entry to the US but the long process must be put in motion now.
Finding routes out of Afghanistan is still the most stressful challenge. Borders with neighboring countries are locked and flights are limited. We are tapping every contact and alternative for life-saving options.
Your support is needed to help families, both those in and out of Afghanistan, to survive without work and income. In Afghanistan they face a humanitarian crisis with skyrocketing prices for basic necessities. Those out of the country are just beginning a multi year process of filing for asylum and have left everything behind in Afghanistan. All face expensive US government fees to file for emergency visas and other legal options.
To help cover these costs, Community Supported Film urgently needs your support for our Fund for Afghan Evacuation & Resettlement. In normal circumstances, any initiative that contributes to the brain drain of a country is anathema to the foundation of our work. In this case, however, we will do everything possible to save, and help rebuild, our colleagues’ lives.
Here’s a link to an excerpt from our story about the evacuation and resettlement of Afghans: Against the Wall – An Afghan Evacuation Story – Part 1
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