Journalist flees Afghanistan after groundbreaking TV interview with Taliban spokesperson – .

Journalist flees Afghanistan after groundbreaking TV interview with Taliban spokesperson – .

Arghand, a presenter of TOLO, an Afghan news network, interviewed a senior representative of the Taliban on the air. The interview made headlines around the world.

Two days later, Arghand started again by interviewing Malala Yousafzai, the activist who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, in what TOLO described as the first time Yousafzai was interviewed on Afghan television.

Arghand led the way, but his work was suspended. She decided to leave Afghanistan, citing the dangers faced by so many journalists and ordinary Afghans.

Arghand corresponded with CNN Business via WhatsApp and recounted the experience of the past two weeks.

In the end, she said: “I left the country because, like millions of people, I am afraid of the Taliban.
Saad Mohseni, the owner of TOLO, said Arghand’s case is emblematic of the situation in Afghanistan.

“Almost all of our well-known reporters and journalists are gone,” Mohseni said Sunday on CNN reliable sources. “We worked like crazy to replace them with new people. ”

“We have the double challenge of getting people out [because they feel unsafe] and continue the operation, ”he added.

Arghand is 24 years old. She told CNN that she decided to become a third-year reporter after one of her teachers let her come to the front of the room and read the news “like I’m the TV presenter,” she told CNN. she declared.

Arghand studied journalism at Kabul University for four years. She worked at several news agencies and radio stations for short periods, then joined TOLONews as a presenter earlier this year.

“I worked there for a month and 20 days, then the Taliban came,” she recalls.

Her August 17 interview with the Taliban was “the first time in Afghan history that a representative of the Taliban has appeared live in a television studio seated opposite a female presenter,” Mohseni said in a column. for the Washington Post, saying the Taliban was trying to “present a moderate face to the world.”

Arghand said the interview was difficult, “but I did it for Afghan women”.

“I was like, ‘One of us has to start… If we stay in our homes or don’t go to our offices, they’ll say the ladies don’t want to work,’ but I was like, ‘Start working. Said Arghand. “And I said to the Taliban member, ‘We want our rights. We want to work. We want – we must – be in society. It is our right. “

With each passing day new accounts of Taliban intimidation targeting the news media arrived.

Two days after interviewing Yousafzai, Arghand asked the activist for help. On Tuesday, she boarded a Qatari Air Force evacuation flight with several members of her family.

She said she hopes to return: “If the Taliban do what they said – what they promised – and the situation improves, and I know I’m safe and it doesn’t There is no threat to me, I will return to my country and I will work for my country. For my people. “


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