Interpreter's killing shows urgency of Afghanistan evacuations, Dutch FM says
The report of the murder of an interpreter in Kabul confirms the need to evacuate the group of 2,100 Afghans that the Netherlands wants to shelter "as quickly as possible," according to the caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Knapen. He has yet to confirm the interpreter's death.
NOS and De Volkskrant reported the murder of the interpreter who was on the Dutch evacuation list based on information from family members. The man was allegedly shot dead by the Taliban last night. He worked for the European Police Mission (EUPOL).
Chairman of the Dutch Police Union Jan Struijs confirmed that "the man mentioned was on the list to be evacuated." While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks confirmation through formal contacts in Afghanistan, the union tried to identify the person through the informal network. "We have confirmation from multiple sources in his family that he is dead."
MPs are shocked by the news. Parties have long insisted on the evacuation of interpreters. According to parliament, the Cabinet should have brought interpreters to safety much earlier. "Horrible. This man served side by side with the Dutch police," said Kati Piri (PvdA). She finds it "extra painful because interpreters should have been safe a long time ago."
The Netherlands brought 30 interpreters who served with EUPOL to the Netherlands. Ten more who asked for help are believed to still be in Afghanistan. According to Minister Henk Kamp (Defense), 330 interpreters who helped the Dutch military mission were left behind. They will be evacuated as soon as the opportunity arises.
According to De Volkskrant, the slain interpreter worked for the police mission between 2013 and 2016, when many Dutch people worked there. After that, he worked for the Americans. The man recently returned to his parental home and was shot dead there, the victim's brother told the newspaper.
Reporting by ANP