A local translator who risked his life alongside British forces in Afghanistan has been shot and wounded alongside his two-year-old son. The victim is one of hundreds of translators who have been refused help by the UK – despite being in grave danger – as Taliban murderers are allowed leave to stay in this country under EU human rights legislation.
The father of two, 26, was known as ‘Chris’ to British soldiers and worked with the SAS, Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment over the three years he spent with UK forces. He spent two months in hospital after being shot in the leg earlier this year when gunmen opened fire near his home in Khost, eastern Afghanistan.
‘Chris‘ told the Daily Mail he had taken evidence of threats – including kidnap attempts – to British authorities on 10 occasions but was repeatedly dismissed and told simply to take more precautions.
“I worked outside military bases with UK forces where I took huge personal risk on a daily basis – I served with distinction, placing myself in mortal danger to save my British colleagues,” he said.
“My family and I have experienced a serious threat to life as a consequence of working for the British, resulting – most recently – in me being shot on December 26 when the Taliban came to my village looking for me.
“My son was hit too. This only happened because of my work with the British. The government has totally forgotten its allies who helped them during the worst of times here. I have seen British soldiers die in front me and I have collected soldiers’ remains – now I think I am being abandoned.”
At least 20 interpreters serving with British troops were killed in action and many wounded in Afghanistan. Six more have been murdered by the Taliban while on leave and five are reported to have been hunted down since UK forces withdrew.
Shockingly, just one of over 300 Afghan interpreters who claim they are in danger from the Taliban because of serving with British soldiers has been given a UK visa.
‘Chris’ is just one of a litany of such cases. As the government seeks to limit economic immigration from the EU, many have argued that brave and deserving men like Chris are being unfairly denied refuge as a consequence.
A new scheme was introduced in 2013 to assist the heroes and offer some asylum, but it is only available to those with at least a year’s continuous service after December 2011.
‘Chris’s‘ case emerged the day after a Taliban henchman, who is accused of murder, won a human rights claim to stay in Britain, after coming here to hide from enemies after the war.
“During his time with the Taliban he saw a leader … behead a man because he believed him to be a spy. After this incident his father decided to leave the Taliban,” said court papers in the case.
His asylum case was initially rejected by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, but the immigration courts overturned her decision and allowed him to stay – potentially indefinitely – because he is entitled to asylum and protection under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mohammad Rafi Hottak, an injured Afghan interpreter who was tortured by the Taliban and won the right to stay in 2012 and is now leading the fight to help other like him, said: “Human rights? Do only criminals and those who have killed British soldiers and translators have human rights? “Doors are opened to them but closed to us.
“It is disgusting the way we are being treated. We are not even being treated like human beings; my colleagues have to live in the shadows with their families looking over their shoulders constantly in fear of death whereas the Taliban are being allowed to stay with all the benefits from the British taxpayer.
“It is like we are the terrorists and they are the heroes.”