If you couldn’t publish an article that told the truth, what would you do?
Journalism is a tough profession in the UK there is no doubt. Difficult to get into, highly competitive and few who make it to the top. But imagine being a journalist where your articles, views or observations could get you locked up or tortured, could mean that you vanish without trace one day; your family and friends would be distraught but wouldn’t know what to do without putting themselves at risk.
That was the plight of a man I met from Iraq in Dunkirk last week. His English was so good that I wondered briefly if he was a volunteer, but as he began to speak of home, I realised he had fled in fear of his life.
“I love my country and that is why I became a journalist, to help people understand what was going on and make it better. But when I broadcast stories about the brutal reality of life and how different groups where profiting from the terror in my country, the threats started.”
He shifted uncomfortably. “Bad things happened to me. I don’t want to say. But I cannot be there anymore. But I still want to be a journalist. I send messages back to Iraq sometimes about the situation here in Dunkirk and what the Iraqi people are facing here. But I don’t think they let me broadcast. It would be too dangerous for them.”
So much passion for his craft, passion for the truth and letting people know what is going on in the world around us. If you couldn’t publish an article that told the truth, what would you do? Wouldn’t you want to be somewhere safe where you could share your experiences without fear?
Please help us support men like Khalid, making sure they have the essentials they need at www.care4calais.org/donate