BBC Evacuates a Third of Its Staff and Their Families From Afghanistan

The BBC has evacuated a third of its staff and their families from Afghanistan with the help of U.K. government and military.

The hundreds of evacuees are now being supported by the corporation and government in the U.K., where they are being processed as refugees.

A senior BBC source told Variety last week that the corporation’s focus is on the urgent evacuation of its Afghan reporters. “We’ve got a number of them out, but there’s still a ways to go,” said the executive, whose expression conveyed that the situation could be grave for the local-language team.

The corporation is now looking at what options are available to them in terms of the employees who are still left in Afghanistan and wish to leave.

Because the BBC’s focus has been on current staff, however, a number of its former workers were left without recourse, telling The Guardian they felt “abandoned” by the corporation. Some of the group of ex-staffers, which is said to number around 14 and is comprised of journalists, presenters and producers, among others, have now gone into hiding, the newspaper reported.

“The BBC has been working around the clock with governments, the military and expert teams to find options for evacuating colleagues and their immediate families from Afghanistan,” said a spokesperson for the BBC.

“We have so far managed to successfully evacuate several hundred people to the U.K. and we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of staff and their families who currently remain in the country whilst we continue to explore all other options.”

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