Dutch cops plead for rescuing Afghan interpreters
A group of 30 Dutch people who worked for the European police mission EUPol called on the government to urgently bring their Afghan colleagues to safety in the Netherlands, writing in newspaper Trouw. Local interpreters in Afghanistan and other former colleagues "are not sure of their lives if the Netherlands does not immediately evacuate and protect them," they wrote.
With NATO troops leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban is gaining more and more ground making the situation in the country increasingly unsafe. The Taliban is specifically targeting interpreters who worked with Western troops and their families, calling them traitors to their country. Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld promised to get the interpreters who worked with the Dutch Armed Forces and their families to safety, but dozens of them are still stuck in Afghanistan.
"It is inadmissible that bringing our Afghan colleagues to the Netherlands is not the top priority of the Ministers involved," they wrote, naming Ministers Ank Bijleveld of Defense, Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, and State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security. "Put human lives before internal procedures and evacuate these brave people now."
The call is supported by the Dutch police unions, Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland, Amnesty International, and the former chairman of military union AFMP.
The Netherlands worked with a total of 273 interpreters during military missions in Afghanistan. Just over a hundred interpreters and their families have been brought to the Netherlands. At least 70 are still stuck in Afghanistan, according to ANP.