Britain 'curmudgeonly and ungraceful' for abandoning Afghan interpreters

A British soldier carries a carefully folded Union Flag under his arm as the last British boots leave Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
A British soldier carries a carefully folded Union Flag under his arm as the last British boots leave Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan  Photo: PA
Ben Farmer
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More than 60 Afghan interpreters who worked alongside British troops have contacted UK lawyers in recent months for help to get out of the country because of Taliban death threats.

A law firm challenging the Government’s decision not to give Afghan interpreters the same right to settle in Britain as those who served in Iraq, says it is now receiving several calls a week from Afghans trying to flee Taliban reprisals.

A former British general said the Government’s refusal to give them asylum and policy of hiding behind bureaucracy was “curmudgeonly and ungraceful”.

The interpreter says he is being deliberately targeted after he was photographed with the Prime Minister, and has been abandoned by Britain.

Rosa Curling, of law firm Leigh Day, said: “We receive several cases every week from individuals explaining that they are at risk.”

“They are totally, totally desperate, they are heartbreaking calls to receive. They are getting death threats, letters under their doors, messages by mobile and threats in the local mosque.”

One former British general, who declined to be named, said: “I feel that yet again we are being shown up by more generous nations who are treating their interpreters better.

“There should be no question that given what they have done for us and our soldiers, that we should help them.”

“It’s curmudgeonly somehow and ungraceful to continuously let bureaucracy get in the way if they are facing difficulties and threats.”

Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, last week Britain had “a moral obligation to look after them”.

He said: “I know that immigration is a real problem but the number we are talking about is so small that actually making a fuss about it is a real embarrassment. We have a debt of honour."

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Source : telegraph[dot]co[dot]uk
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