June 10, 2021 12:23 PM | With information from .
15 minutes. Hundreds of former Afghan employees of the US forces in Afghanistan demonstrated this Thursday to demand that the United States (USA) facilitate the granting of special visas so that they can be evacuated from the country together with foreign troops, in the face of the threat of the rapid advance of the Taliban.
The protest was organized in Kabul by the Afghans Left Behind Association (SUNRISE). It brought together hundreds of interpreters, former workers, and contractors who worked for US forces and the international coalition in the country.
The former employees’ complaint was directed mainly to US President Joe Biden, whom call for urgent action on the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan. The measure is expected to end in early September.
“Take us to a safe place. We must be valued for not having given ourselves to the service of the enemy“They claimed this with banners at the protest, which was organized for security reasons in a closed-door gym.
Former workers fear that after the withdrawal of international troops, after almost 2 decades of war, the Taliban will persecute them. Specifically, for considering them traitors and collaborators.
“Is there any guarantee from the US Government that the Taliban will not kill us with our families? There is none“Muhammad Shoaib, a former interpreter for the US forces, said during the protest.
For Shoaib, the Biden Administration must grant visas to all those, along with their families, who supported the coalition forces. “Especially the US Army.”
Most of these protesters are Former employees whose visa applications were rejected for various reasons. For example, being on black or surveillance lists or being fired while on duty
Other applications were dismissed because they did not have letters of recommendation or other documents from their US supervisors.
The Taliban pledged in a statement not to attack the interpreters of foreign forces after the withdrawal.. However, this is not a sufficient guarantee for Afghans. “The Taliban say one thing and do another. We can never trust them. They will kill us and our families.” This was stated by Ayazuddin Helal, another American interpreter.
“In difficult times we support them and even in some cases we save their lives. Now it’s up to them to support us and save our lives“he added.
According to Helal, about 24,000 Afghans tried to apply for special immigration visas (SIVs). However, it will be impossible to process all these requests before withdrawal.
“Our request to Joe Biden is to evacuate to a third country. After processing our documents there, take us to the US“he explained.
According to the ALBA representative, at least 7 interpreters from foreign forces were killed by insurgents in the last 2 weeks. A fact that . could not confirm.