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Afghan female anchor Beheshta Arghand flees country after interview with Taliban leader

Beheshta Arghand, a female Afghan anchor, fled the country after an interview with a senior Taliban leader, CNN reported on Monday.

Arghand, who worked for TOLOnews, interviewed Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad, a high-ranking Taliban representative in mid-August.

The interview had garnered headlines around the world, as it was the first time in Afghanistan’s history that a Taliban member appeared live on TV sitting next to a female presenter.

The journalist confirmed to CNN that she had left Afghanistan for fear of the Taliban. The Afghan scribe added that she would return if the security situation in the country improved.

“I left the country because, like millions of people, I fear the Taliban,” Arghand was quoted by CNN.

This comes as Afghan journalists, cameramen and photographers in an open letter called on the UN, the international community, rights groups and media-supporting organizations to protect them against threats.

“Considering the increasing challenges and threats facing media workers, as well as their families and property, we urge the United Nations and donor countries to take action to save our lives and our families,” the letter read, published on Saturday and signed by 150 reporters.

The letter comes following the fall of the Afghan government on August 15. Several reporters and media staff have since fled the country fearing reprisal from the Taliban.