The Pulitzer Prize Board awarded a special citation to journalists of Afghanistan — “from staff and freelance correspondents to interpreters to drivers to hosts” — on Friday for their “courageous” work. According to a press release, the Pulitzer Prize Board decided to honour “the women and men of Afghanistan who have dedicated themselves at great personal risk to create and support journalism that has chronicled decades of life and war”. The board also stated that the efforts of such “courageous Afghan residents helped produce Pulitzer-winning and Pulitzer-worthy images and stories that have contributed to a wider understanding of profoundly tragic and complicated circumstances”.
A tweet on the official handle of The Pulitzer Prizes states, “The citation “comes with a $1,00,000 grant to be administered by @pressfreedom for the emergency relief of such individuals and their families.”
The Pulitzer Prize Board has issued a special citation to honor and assist Afghanistan journalism workers. The citation “comes with a $100,000 grant to be administered by @pressfreedom for the emergency relief of such individuals and their families.” https://t.co/ASzXZSXdas
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) August 27, 2021
The press release quoted Pulitzer Board Co-Chairs Katherine Boo, Gail Collins and John Daniszewski, as saying, “It’s critical in a moment of stark threat to support those Afghans whose bravery, skill, and commitment to the ideals of a free press have helped create so much important journalism in recent decades.”
Earlier this month, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, leaving many people stranded and seeking a way out of the country. On Thursday, evacuation efforts were thwarted when a bombing attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul left many people dead and injured.
Months before their takeover of Kabul, in April 2021, a report in Human Rights Watch had stated that the Taliban were deliberately targeting journalists and other media workers, including women, in Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch also found that Taliban forces “engaged in a pattern of threats, intimidation, and violence against members of the media in areas where the Taliban have significant influence”.