Help protect the Afghan interpreters who helped British troops

by Former interpreters MRH & AL

Help protect the Afghan interpreters who helped British troops

by Former interpreters MRH & AL
Former interpreters MRH & AL
Case Owner
We are two Afghan interpreters who worked for the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan. As a result of our employment we have suffered threats and violence from the Taliban, who seek to punish us.
Funded
on 17th August 2017
£5,375
pledged of £15,000 stretch target from 78 pledges
Former interpreters MRH & AL
Case Owner
We are two Afghan interpreters who worked for the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan. As a result of our employment we have suffered threats and violence from the Taliban, who seek to punish us.

We are two Afghan interpreters who worked for the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Over the last five years we have challenged the UK government’s refusal to put in place a resettlement scheme which allows us and the other interpreters, who put their lives at risk by working with the British Forces, to travel safely to the UK. Having been heard by the High Court in conducting a judicial review, we are now raising funds to take our case to the UK Supreme Court.

To protect our identities, we are referring to ourselves only as ‘MRH’ and ‘AL’. We joined the British Forces to help fight the Taliban and to bring peace and freedom to our country. 

The Courts have said “British Forces operating in Afghanistan could not have functioned without the assistance of locally employed staff, including interpreters”, who “exposed themselves to considerable personal risk.” They described us and our work as “principled and brave”.

Our lives and the lives of our families are now in danger. The Taliban are targeting former interpreters like us for punishment. The Taliban Code of Conduct states that we should be beheaded as infidels, for working with the British.

Some of our colleagues have already been killed, many seriously injured. Almost all former interpreters who worked with the international forces, but remained in Afghanistan after their international partners left, now live in constant fear for their lives and the safety of their families. They have to hide, to avoid the threats and violence. They can no longer live a normal life.

We believe that the interpreters are owed a debt of honour, having served with and helped the fight against the Taliban. These men’s bravery helped save the lives of British soldiers on numerous occasions in Afghanistan. The UK government has put a comprehensive resettlement scheme in place for former Iraqi interpreters, who faced similar threats to us after the British Army left Iraq. The US, Australian and New Zealand Governments have all helped Afghan interpreters who worked for them. Why does the UK government refuse to do the same for us?

We are taking this case to the UK Supreme Court on behalf of all former Afghan interpreters who worked for the UK. The money we are raising is to be used only to cover our costs risk in the event we may be required to pay the government’s legal costs defending our challenge. Without such protection we will not be able to pursue our case.

From 2006, MRH worked as an interpreter for the British forces in Helmand until he was seriously injured in an IED explosion. As a result of his injuries, he could not continue in his function as an interpreter but he continued his employment with the British in other roles such as recruiting and training interpreters. MRH finally fled from Afghanistan in 2011 after numerous attempts were made on his life by the Taliban.

AL is still in Afghanistan, at serious risk to his life. He was employed with the British armed forces from 2006 until February 2012. His work included frontline duties such as patrolling with UK soldiers in an active combat environment.

Should the case succeed, AL and other former interpreters who worked for the UK will be given a chance to apply to live a normal life free from fear and threat, here in the UK. Interpreters are the forgotten heroes who were the closest, trusted friends to the British forces in the fight against terrorism. Each of the interpreters has shown their commitment to the United Kingdom and its armed forces in combat operations in Helmand, fighting against the Taliban. We are now seeking some assistance from the British government to protect their lives.

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