Give Afghans who helped the Netherlands asylum, ambassador says as Taliban advances
While the Dutch military was in Afghanistan, they engaged 273 Afghans as interpreters. They now need the help of the Netherlands in the form of asylum, Afghan ambassador in the Netherlands Mohammad Asif Rahimi said to Nieuwsuur on Friday.
On Sunday morning, the Taliban started their attack on the Afghan capital, Kabul. It has been the last major city in Afghanistan that was not yet in the hands of the Taliban. The terrorist organization has also claimed all Afghan border crossings, the Pakistani minister of interior affairs said.
The terrorist organization sees Afghans who helped the Netherlands and other Western countries as traitors.
“Everything is being done in the Dutch embassy in Kabul to help our employees, interpreters, their relatives and direct family”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag tweeted on Saturday.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte also announced on Twitter that everything is being done to ensure the safety of the embassy workers and interpreters.
Had zojuist wederom overleg met @ministerBZ, @MinBijleveld en staatssecretaris @ankiebroekers over de tragische ontwikkelingen in Afghanistan. Alles wordt in werking gesteld om de veiligheid van onze ambassademedewerkers en tolken te waarborgen.— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) August 14, 2021
Interpreters are entitled to asylum as long as they are able to verify their function, yet that is enough the Afghan ambassador said. “Interpreters, drivers, office workers and anyone on the military base who worked for the Netherlands, they all helped the Netherlands in their mission”, Rahimi said. “If they are in danger and they have the correct documents, they should have the possibility to come to the Netherlands.”
Even for interpreters, it can be difficult at times to get asylum in the Netherlands. Many applicants are not in possession of identity documents, such as a birth certificate or an ID card. Around 100 interpreters already moved to the Netherlands after the Taliban advanced in the region.