The Taliban has executed an Afghan army officer who worked as an interpreter for Australian troops – after the Government told him he wasn’t eligible to be airlifted to safety.
The new regime in Afghanistan made it clear from the outset that they’d target locals who had helped foreign forces during the past 20 years.
But the officer and his family missed the first round of evacuations from the country, reports the ABC network, with the Australian government telling them they didn’t qualify for humanitarian visas – even though the officer was on the Taliban’s “kill list”, according to a lawyer.
It’s just the latest horrific story to emerge from Afghanistan since the brutal Taliban regime took power following the shambolic withdrawal of US-led Western forces in August.
The officer’s wife and three children are currently hiding in the country and it’s thought they are in extreme danger. The interpreter’s sister lives in Australia and is desperately trying to get them out of Afghanistan.
Sharhi Rafi, a lawyer in Sydney, told the ABC that the family had become increasingly desperate.
“Each time she would call me, she would cry on the floor,” she said. “And then she tried to knock on every door possible to get the family rescued.”
She added: "[The interpreter has] young daughters that [the Taliban] can turn into their brides, and they can kill the son if they find them.”
The family had applied for a humanitarian visa in August 26 and had chased up the request with the Australian government on several occasions since.
“Unfortunately, we lost a human being who's served and helped the Australian army and Afghanistan army, and he's executed now and his family is in a desperate situation,” Ms Rafi said. “And they are not the only ones, unfortunately.”
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When the officer’s family contacted the Australian Defence Force in a desperate bid to reach two soldiers the interpreter had worked closely with, hoping they would be able to help, the ADF refused to put them in touch, citing confidentiality reasons.
Immigration minister Alex Hawke told the ABC that he could not discuss individual cases, blaming the extremely dangerous situation on the ground.
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