Call to evacuate thirty Afghan artists urgently to France

Cultural figures on Friday called on the United States to include 36 Afghan artists and intellectuals with a laissez-passer from Paris in the final evacuation operations in Kabul.

This appeal, launched in a letter signed by theater directors, writers and filmmakers, including the Goncourt Atiq Rahimi award or Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, was addressed to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, to US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson and Chargé d’affaires Brian Aggeler.

“Only you can do it now”

“This list of 36 personalities and their families, for which the French State has granted an official letter of invitation – a pass certifying their authorization to travel – we ask you to please do us the grace of accepting ” integrate into your ultimate evacuation operations. Only you can do it now, ”the letter said.

In the latter, the signatories do not specify the names of Afghan personalities but stress that they “embody part of the Afghan intellectual treasure that international cooperation must jointly and at all costs succeed in preserving from promised destruction”.

“No doubt about the fate that will be reserved for them”

Asked why this letter was not sent to the French authorities, Joris Mathieu, director of the TNG-Center dramatique national de Lyon and one of the artists who initiated the letter, explained that “this approach took place after that everything has been implemented with the French State and the services of the embassy to carry out these evacuations successfully ”but that as“ the last days will be devoted almost exclusively to American operations, we believe that only they can do it ” .

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The other signatories are Maria Carmela Mini, director of the Latitudes contemporaines festival, Guilda Chahverdi, former director of the French Institute of Afghanistan, Afghan director Siddiq Barmak and Mohammad Mehdi Zafari, filmmaker and former deputy director of the French Institute of Afghanistan.

“We have no doubts about the fate that will be reserved for them once there will be no more foreign presence on the territory. We ask you both to help us save these individuals for what they are, but also for the prospect of a better future that they represent for a whole country ”, according to the letter.

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