National Press Club

National Press Club applauds Afghanistan candidates for statements on expelled reporter

August 23, 2014 | By John M. Donnelly |

The National Press Club president thanked the two candidates vying to become Afghanistan's next president for separately pledging to rescind the current government's expulsion of New York Times reporter Matt Rosenberg.

Afghan officials ordered Rosenberg on Aug. 20 to leave the country and not return, and he left the following day. The order came after the officials, from the Afghan attorney general's office, had questioned Rosenberg about a story he wrote that was first published Aug. 18 about a potential coup brewing in Kabul. Rosenberg later said the officials had demanded that he disclose his sources for the story.

The presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, are in talks over the disputed result of a runoff presidential election. Each candidate issued a statement on Aug. 22 decrying the expulsion of Rosenberg as a violation of the principles of press freedom. Each man said that, upon taking power, he would rescind the expulsion order.

"We are immensely pleased that whoever becomes Afghanistan's next president will overturn this unjust expulsion of a reporter who was merely doing his job," said NPC President Myron Belkind. "On behalf of news professionals in the United States, we thank Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani for pledging to do the right thing."

The National Press Club, located in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1908, is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the Club speaks out on behalf of press freedom and transparency worldwide.