Refugee Action Welcomes Decision To Offer Protection To Afghan Interpreters

Last updated May 22, 2013Press release

Refugee Action, a leading national refugee charity, welcomes the UK Government’s decision to offer protection to Afghan interpreters.

Dave Garratt, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, said:

“We welcome today’s decision to offer protection to Afghan interpreters who put their lives on the line to support the British forces. This move now puts the UK in step with other NATO countries who have granted their interpreters the right to asylum.

“Like all individuals seeking asylum in the UK, Afghan interpreters deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We call for a fully-funded support programme to aid the relocation, resettlement and successful integration of Afghan interpreters and their immediate family members in the UK. As a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, the UK has an obligation to offer sanctuary to those who need it and we must not abandon people whose lives are in grave danger from persecution.”

Rafi, an Afghan interpreter who was granted refugee status on appeal after his initial claim for asylum was rejected by the UK Border Agency last October, commented on today’s announcement, Rafi said:

‘I am relieved by the decision which has been made in respect of granting protection to Afghans who worked with the British armed forces in Afghanistan. It recognises the services and sacrifices of Afghan interpreters and their families in the war against terror”.

Dave Garratt added:

“Individuals, like Rafi,  who have sought asylum in the UK consistently tell us that the current system is complex and bewildering. We urgently need a humane, fair and efficient asylum process so that individuals seeking sanctuary are granted the right protection from persecution or conflict.”

Refugee Action worked with Iraqi nationals in recent years to support their successful resettlement in the UK. In 2011, Refugee Action partnered with IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, in Manchester, to document the role that they played in assisting the coalition forces in the country.

ENDS

For further information, images or to request an interview, please contact Refugee Action Press & PR Officer, Antony Watson, on +44 (0) 7771748159 or email antonyw@refugee-action.org.uk

For regular updates on Refugee Action’s work, please sign up here.

Notes to Editors

  • Refugee Action is a national charity working to enable refugees to build new lives in the UK. We provide practical advice and assistance to newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement through community and development work. As one of the country’s leading agencies in the field, Refugee Action has more than 30 years’ experience in pioneering innovative work in partnership with refugees. For more information, please visit www.refugee-action.org.uk