Afghan journalist who fled to Ireland fears for his family after Taliban threats

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Sayed Farid Sanai left Afghanistan in August but his family remain in hiding

Jan 2, 2020

January 2, 2020

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A news presenter who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban threatened to kill him has said he is unable to sleep from worry for his family in hiding in his homeland.

Sayed Farid Sanai, who had been a news anchor for Khurshid television for seven years, is now living in a temporary accommodation for asylum seekers in the Republic of Ireland.

He fled Afghanistan in August after two of his colleagues were killed by the Taliban in an explosion in Kabul and the terror group threatened his and his family’s life.

Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE, Mr Sanai said: "The day after the explosion I received a phone call and message from the Taliban groups that they said 'you were our target. We will kill you as soon as possible. You will not be safe'."

Days later Mr Sanai escaped a gun attack and his family went into hiding. The journalist paid a contact €15,000 to get him on a plane to Turkey and then to safety in Dublin where he sought help from the authorities.

Mr Sanai’s wife and 10-month-old son couldn’t leave the country with him because they had no travel documents. Mr Sanai didn’t have the money for them to leave the country.

The journalist told the Irish broadcaster he worries for their safety in such a dangerous situation. He said he was sleepless from worrying and one day without them feels “like 100 years”.

Mr Sanai has appealed for the Irish government’s help in dealing with his asylum case. Mr Sanai told RTE that he was optimistic that his family would be able to obtain visas to come to Ireland.

Updated: January 2, 2020 10:39 PM

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