Afghan Lawyer Needs Urgent Help

by Candace Watermeyer

Afghan Lawyer Needs Urgent Help

by Candace Watermeyer
Candace Watermeyer
Case Owner
My name is Candy and I am a private British citizen supporting the case of an Afghan national who needs our help.
Funded
on 12th August 2022
£1,630
pledged of £2,000 stretch target from 35 pledges
Candace Watermeyer
Case Owner
My name is Candy and I am a private British citizen supporting the case of an Afghan national who needs our help.

Latest: Oct. 26, 2022

Update on funds and their usage

Third, thank you once again for helping raise £1500 towards Victor’s legal fees. As you can see below, just over £1525 has been transferred to Serpahus, our chosen law firm. £…

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This fundraiser will help an Afghan lawyer have his Special Application for UK Resettlement professionally represented. Any delay or errors in his application will cost him his life, so anything you can spare is greatly, deeply appreciated. 

Who is this Afghan lawyer?

Victor* was a military prosecutor for the Afghan Government working on anti-corruption (a noted British interest) up until the Taliban retook the country in August 2021. 

His identity is verified by experts.

Among other factors which make him a target, he put a number of Taliban members behind bars. Here is his story:


What is Victor's claim?

Victor has an open Resettlement Application with the UK, applied for as a Special Case. 

Recent case law indicates that the Government is obliged to consider his application, even though he is still in Afghanistan, because of the mechanism he used to apply for it.  

The recent ruling is the reason I'm now urgently seeking legal help - so that a specialist to update his case and make sure his rights are upheld. 

What Will The Funds Pay For?

First these funds will be used to support Victor's open Resettlement application, second to help evacuate him. Anything left over will go to support others like him.

I've secured leading immigration law firm Seraphus to represent him, as well as a leading authority on Afghan documentation to authenticate and translate his evidence.

Leaving the translation etc to the currently overburdened system is likely to cost many months more than it would if his application arrives authenticated, translated and notarised. Any delays may cost Victor his life.  

What are next the steps?

Once Victor's application is updated, we will have to wait for  The UK Government to review it and make a decision. 

Thereafter we can focus on getting him rescued and resettled. For various reasons, it becomes easier to evacuate Victor once he has an official "yes" from the UK.  

And then?

This will not happen overnight, which is part of the problem and reason why Victor needs our help so urgently.

Once he's approved, and rescued, then he will begin the long journey to recovery from his ordeal and the lifelong separation from his family it is costing him.

If you opt-in for updates I will keep you posted on his journey and invite you to a virtual meet and greet once he is ready, so that he can thank you personally.  He is truly grateful for even the hope of surviving this. 

Leftover Funds

Any funds leftover from this will go to Azadi Charity, registered 1199297 in Britain. Azadi assists at-risk, targeted Afghans to evacuate and resettle. This amazing charity has proven invaluable in helping keep Victor alive by giving me free advice on how to help him, even though it is oversubscribed and unable to commit to even one more beneficiary at the moment.

100% of everything donated to Azadi goes towards assisting its beneficiaries. No-one in the charity draws a salary nor claims expenses. 

What About the Afghanistan Earthquake Victims?

There is overwhelming need across the world today, and especially in Afghanistan. Let your heart guide you.  Victor is someone who is totally alone and will definitely die , possibly by torture, without this much-needed help. He is passionate about the law and wishes to continue practising it, should he survive long enough to be resettled. If this speaks to you, then please support him. While many aid organisations will naturally rush to the earthquake victims' sides, Victor and others like him still also need our help. 

Because even while Afghanistan has been facing one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern memory, Taliban members have continued and even stepped-up their campaign of revenge. 

When the Ukraine war broke out, they became aware that the West is not watching as closely anymore, and things have become even more brutal since. 

Anything you can spare is greatly appreciated.  Please also share this with others who might care.

* Victor is not his real name, which is protected for his safety. Azadi has verified his identity via professional intelligence checks.

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Update 3

Candace Watermeyer

Oct. 26, 2022

Update on funds and their usage

Third, thank you once again for helping raise £1500 towards Victor’s legal fees. As you can see below, just over £1525 has been transferred to Serpahus, our chosen law firm. £1500 will cover Serpahus’ fee for representing Victor in his asylum application and anything leftover will be used for translator fees. Once Victor's case is settled, any leftover funds will be sent to Azadi Charity. 

I have also managed to raise a further £1,150 privately through some very, very amazing people and friends, which I paid directly to Seraphus to cover: 

  • live translator fees

  • legally-compliant document authentication

  • a professional country report 

  • an independent threat to life assessment. 

Serpahus does not charge any markup for these services, which it pays directly to the experts it hires per case. 

Update 2

Candace Watermeyer

Oct. 26, 2022

Update on Victor

As of 26 Oct 2022, here is how we are getting on: 

  • Seraphus has interviewed Victor through a translator, reviewed and interrogated his evidence. Seraphus confirms that Victor’s case for asylum is valid. 

  • Victor will apply anywhere safe he can get to, but as I am the random Westerner he's connected with, we are trying the UK because of one apply-from-Afghanistan option it has. 

  • We all (Victor, his lawyers, and I) agree his best chance out of the options available* is to apply for special consideration via an ARAP application, given his military prosecution links. Thankfully, this is by a happy fluke the same type of application I made - albeit it without enough information/evidence - on his behalf in March.

  • Serpahus will now update Victor’s application with the correct legal argument and evidence required, and deal with any queries arising when the Home Office eventually gets around to assessing it. Because his evidence is mainly in the form of paper documentation, having it authenticated, translated and explained with the independent expert reports will hopefully prove helpful.  

  • I do not think without this help the application would be as strong as it is. Until this experience I was labouring under the naive assumption that the law is fair, just and accessible for everyday people. It seems to me that you need

  • Then, we have to wait for the Home Office to review his application and make a decision. We expect this will take many, many months. During which time we can only hope for Victor's continued safety in hiding. 

Update 1

Candace Watermeyer

Aug. 8, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know Victor is not a con artist or terrorist? 
I've verified his identity through official channels with the help of Azadi charity. I have spoken to him on video and voice calls. I've had him send a picture of himself with his ID documents in real time.

Why is an individual raising funds for another individual instead of for a charity - this seems shady?
I am helping Victor as an individual because no-one else will. 

I have  contacted 500+ charities, individuals, governments and lawyers across the world. The (few) responses I did receive back were the same: 'We are too inundated to take on even one more person.' or 'We will not help someone who is still in Afghanistan. We will only help people who can get to the UNCHR etc.' 

What else could I do? I was not going to walk away from someone I knew to be in life-threatening danger. Would you?  

How did you meet or connect with Victor?
In March 2022  I commented on a photo of Kabul which Victor had posted on Twitter.  We struck up a conversation about Afghanistan and upon realising he was still there, I asked him if he was safe.  He wasn't. So I offered to connect him with a charity or government person who could help him.  I did not think it would be difficult - I've since learned about the dark underbelly of international asylum laws and practice. It's awful. 

How does Azadi Charity fit in?
Azadi is the first charity I approached to help Victor. But it cannot afford to commit to even one more individual. It is already supporting hundreds of individuals in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Yet, the director of Azadi kindly offered to give advice if I needed it. She has been amazing and has helped me find information I could not have found myself. She also had Victor's identity and job history verified through official channels. 

What are the two different funding targets about? It is confusing! 
The initial target of £1500 will pay the lawyers' fees. The 'stretch target' of £1000 will pay the document authentication and translation. That's a total of £2500, but in order to get there we have to hit £1500 first. 


Why does Victor need legal help if he is an asylum seeker? 
The only legal routes for Afghans to apply for asylum are (1.) at a UK port or (2.) through the Afghan Resettlement and Assistance Programme (ARAP). 

Option 1 is not possible because Victor has no money. Also, there are conflicting reports on whether the UK will give visas to Afghans. The Home Office told me, twice, that they can, then referred me to a pay-by-the-minute visa agency. A lawyer separately told me that Afghan passports no longer qualify for UK visas. Regardless, Victor has no money, nor connections with money. (I am a case in point!)

That leaves option 2, the ARAP scheme. This is open to Afghans who worked for the British government or military.  Victor has applied for extra-ordinary consideration because he worked for the Afghanistan government, but can prove he was working in support of British interests. The Supreme Court has ruled that such applications are valid. We need a lawyer to help us to show that his case fulfills the requirements for this extra-ordinary consideration.  It does, the lawyers agree. 

Why are you so focussed on getting him into the UK?
This in the only option that I am aware of that comes with help to get out of Afghanistan. It is also the only route that Victor can apply  for from Afghanistan. If you know differently, please email me.  I have also tried a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for the USA but I have not heard back in months. I presume this is because I am not a US citizen. Again, if you know differently, please email me.

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