Fears for Afghan staff facing UK security block

Afghan interpreters blocked by UK seek appeal
British forces evacuated hundreds from Afghanistan in August. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Sheltering in a hideout on the outskirts of Afghan capital Kabul, Abdul, an interpreter who worked with the British forces, says he is waiting for the day he is found and killed by the Taliban.

He is one of the Afghan interpreters who have been stopped from relocating to the UK, despite initially being told they were eligible for a move.

The Afghan interpreters, whose names have been changed for their safety as they fear retribution from the Taliban, received letters saying they were “eligible for relocation” to Britain under a UK government scheme to get former interpreters who had worked for British forces to safety.

But their relocation was subject to passing immigration checks – and in the final stages, the Home Office blocked them on national security grounds.

They were told their presence in the United Kingdom would not be “conducive to the public good”.

The men have not been given any details about why they were deemed a threat. They say they have done nothing wrong.

Their supporters in Britain are urging for them to be given the opportunity to have their cases reviewed and have criticised the lack of transparency around the decisions.

When UK’s Ministry of Defence officials told him in July he was eligible to relocate, Abdul was relieved.

Having worked in the past with British soldiers in Helmand, he was worried he would be a target for retribution when the Taliban started taking over Afghanistan.

He says he was told to prepare for a flight out of Afghanistan within two weeks. He sold most of his possessions, and prepared to quit his job.

But on 11 August, as the Taliban fighters closed in on the Afghan capital, he received a letter telling him his visa application had been refused on “national security” grounds with no right of appeal.

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