Welcome, please don’t come: UK encourages Afghan interpreters not to seek asylum

Watch this video, 4.49 min, published on Russia Today RT, May 2, 2013.

PM Cameron’s cabinet is considering offering ‘really generous’ packages to Afghan interpreters working with British troops, who would not seek asylum in UK and would stay in Afghanistan after the 2014 pullout, risking reprisals from the Taliban.

There are some 450 Afghans working as interpreters for the British troops left in the country. Some politicians and military in the UK call have been calling to treat those people similarly to Iraqis, who used to work with the British deployed there. The Iraqis were offered either one-off financial packages or asylum in Britain, with some 900 of the interpreters opting for the latter … //  

… Taliban threatened to cut our heads off:

One of the interpreters, Rafi Karimi, who talked to RT from Kabul, is sure that staying in Afghanistan would be a death sentence for the interpreters as the Taliban won’t forgive them for assisting the NATO troops.

“Those people, who worked with any foreign army in Afghanistan – they’ll lose their life if the Taliban would catch them,” the translator said. “The UK can’t do anything in here for us. They can’t make a checkpoint by our house or give us bodyguards. It is impossible to save the lives of interpreters here in Afghanistan.”

Karimi, who was hired by the British military to translate for Denmark’s contingent in Afghanistan, said that financial support from the UK won’t solve the issue as no sum would be enough to provide security.

“The money can’t protect our lives,” he explained. “Even if I had $5 million here in Afghanistan – what should I do with this money if I won’t be alive? I want to move to another country. I should save the life of myself and the life of my family.”

According to the interpreter, the Taliban will have little problem in identifying him and other Afghans, who worked with NATO forces, as the militants have their photos and have already threatened to kill them in the past.

“I got two warning phone calls from them and so did my colleagues. They said: ‘You have to stop this. We’ll kill you. One day we’ll come, we should catch you and cut off your head,’” he said.

Karimi believes that the only way for him to stay alive is to flee Afghanistan and find a new home in the West.

“My life will be saved only if I go to UK or any other country, like Canada or Australia,” he said.
(full text, many comments and links to related articles).


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