Tag Archives: afghan interpreters

Ed Davey: Extend Armed Forces Covenant to Afghans who supported British troops

The Armed Forces Covenant protects UK military veterans and their families. In the i Ed Davy has called for the Covenant to be extended to include Afghan soldiers and interpreters who have been working with the British forces in Afghanistan.

He says:

The UK owes a huge debt of gratitude to all the Afghan citizens who heroically took a stand and worked alongside our brave men and women on the ground over the past 20 years.

Without their selflessness, we simply couldn’t have achieved what we did and undoubtedly more lives would’ve been lost. It is only right that their huge contribution is recognised and rewarded.

We must start by ensuring all Afghan interpreters, and their families, are able to come to the UK. Now is not the time for arbitrary caps on refugees – unless we offer sanctuary they will be hunted down by the Taliban, and we will see a humanitarian crisis unfold before our eyes.

He will table an amendment to the Armed Forces Bill when it comes before Parliament and it is likely to receive widespread support.

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Paddy: Dishonouring service of Afghan interpreters is our worst act of shame

Paddy Ashdown condemned the Government after an Afghan interpreter, Nangyalai Dawoodzai, who had to leave his country after spending 3 years helping the British forces for, killed himself after being told his application for asylum in the UK had failed and he would be returned to Italy, the first European country he had arrived in.

From the Guardian:

The 29-year-old, who paid people smugglers to reach the UK, was told his request for asylum in Britain had been rejected when it was found he had been fingerprinted in Italy on arrival in Europe, according to the Daily Mail.

Under the EU’s Dublin regulation, aimed at preventing multiple asylum claims by individuals, Dawoodzai had to pursue his claim in the first country he applied in.

Faced with being sent back to Italy to claim political asylum there he killed himself, a fellow translator told the newspaper.

Paddy, who has long campaigned for these interpreters to be allowed to settle here, was understandably furious.

Lord Ashdown, who has championed the cause of Afghan war interpreters for years, said their treatment was scandalous.

It wrenches your heart out sideways. Here is a man who served in Helmand, probably on the frontline, who did it day in and day out for British troops, no going back home every six months, whose family were not tucked away safe but was in the community.

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Ashdown says package offered to Afghan interpreter doesn’t “fulfill our debt of honour”

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that the Government had changed its mind and would allow Afghan intepreters to settle in this country. This is something that Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg had argued for vociferously.

However, as details of the scheme have emerged, they have been dismissed as insufficient by various people, including Paddy Ashdown as the Times (£) reports:

Senior politicians have accused the Government of mistaken priorities in their handling of safeguards for British Army interpreters when UK forces leave Afghanistan.

Only those interpreters who were still in British service on December 19, 2012, will be offered 

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Nick Clegg and Paddy Ashdown win the argument on Afghan interpreters

The BBC reports:

Up to 600 Afghan interpreters who worked alongside British troops are to be given the right to live in the UK, government sources have confirmed.

The plan marks a climbdown from ministers who had decided they should not get the same UK resettlement rights as interpreters in the Iraq conflict.

Afghan interpreters who worked on the front line for a year or more will initially be offered a five-year visa.

This is something, as we reported 3 weeks ago, that Nick Clegg and Paddy Ashdown have been arguing for.

Earlier this week, Paddy Ashdown said that it was Downing Street …

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