EU abandoned us! Bloc accused of turning back on Afghan interpreters: ‘I fear for my life’

Joe Biden discusses reason US invaded Afghanistan

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With the US due to pull all troops out by the end of the month, the Afghanistan government is fighting desperately to prevent its overthrow by the resurgent radical Islamic faction, which by current estimates controls 85 percent of the mountainous country. In total, nearly 100 people have an official contract with the EU base which it still maintains in the capital, working variously as interpreters, advisers and political consultants.

In addition, more Afghans are employed on a more casual basis as chefs, cleaning staff, receptionists and waiters.

One of them, Sohail Pardis, 30, who previously worked as an interpreter for the US army, was murdered in cold blood recently after being pursued by the Taliban who accused him of being a spy and an infidel.

He was shot dead before his body was pulled from the vehicle and beheaded.

His friend, referred to only as Zubair for his own safety, who works for the EU delegation in Afghanistan, told Danish newspaper Weekendavisen: “I also fear for my life.”

Zubair explained he feared the Taliban will punish him as soon as Western forces leave the country – but he said he had not been offered any assistance, either by the EU itself or any of its individual member states.

With the end of August fast approaching, the future remains unclear for Zubair and many others like him, given the EU is unable to issue visas or grant asylum, and no member of the EU27 has yet offered to do so.

He added: “I never imagined I would be sitting here talking to a journalist, but I’m desperate.

“We have represented the EU Member States, we have been their face, ears and eyes in Afghanistan.

“We do not ask for special treatment, but we believe that the EU countries have an obligation to their employees.”

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I’m not just afraid of being killed

Female official at the EU office

A female official at the EU office said many of them were frightened to leave their apartments for fear of being recognised in the street.

She added: “I’m not just afraid of being killed.

“I fear all the other atrocities that the Taliban are exposing women to.

“I do not even want to think about it.”

Charlotte Rosenorn, who in 2017 was political adviser to the EU in Kabul, said: “I am so disappointed that an employer which has benefited from the insight and sacrifice of my Afghan colleagues, is not doing more.

“It’s one thing that the EU has not had a plan to help them. But when the local employees now get the chair in front of the door and ask for help, then something should be done immediately.

“We are failing the Afghans who have worked with us, and we do not stand by the principles we took to Afghanistan for: equality and human rights.”

A European Commission spokesman told Weekendavisen it was “working hard” on the matter.

They added: “The first specific cases concerning the relocation of local EU staff to EU Member States are currently being considered.

“The decision to grant a visa or international protection is a Member State’s competence. For security reasons, we can say no more.” has approached the European Commission

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