Government leaves Afghani interpreters to their fate

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Afghanistan

Here’s one example where the Dutch could copy the US in a positive way: arrange special visas for the 102 or so Afghani interpreters that served with the Dutch forces in Afghanistan.

The Dutch mission in Afghanistan will be over and done with as of 1 August, a decision that led to the cabinet falling here in the Netherlands. It also marks the end of the interpreters’ labour contract.

Now that these interpreters have to return to their families, they fear for their lives, as the Taliban could find them and retaliate (kill them and their families). The US has a special visa programme for 50 Afghani and Iraqi interpreters a year. It is called “Special Immigrant Afghanistan or Iraq National who worked with the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator”.

The Afghani had expected the Dutch to do the same, but nope. The Dutch Ministry of Defense says NATO should deal with the problem, not the Netherlands.

Nice Christian values indeed.

(Link: binnenland, Photo of Uruzgan province, Afghanistan by Remko Tanis, some rights reserved)

2 Comments »

  1. I can think of two solutions. They could be hired by US forces in Afghanistan and/or the US could make them eligible for the special visa programme for 50 Afghani and Iraqi interpreters a year. Why is it limited to 50? It should be made available to every interpreter who is willing to risk their life to aid the cause, such as it is.

    My cousin’s son is home from his year in Afghanistan. We are all relieved his came home safe and whole.

    Comment by Neil — July 21, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  2. The Dutch weren’t fighting in the same place as the US, so having those interpreters hired by the US doesn’t make sense.

    The US limited the programme to 50, that’s just what they did.

    The Canadians apparently had a fast-track immigration programme, but few made the cut.
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100525/national/afghan_translators

    I’m still disgusted the Dutch did nothing.

    Comment by Orangemaster — July 22, 2010 @ 9:40 am

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