A new betrayal by the brave: The UK’s Afghan aides must prove that they are at ‘high risk’ of their lives if they wish to travel to Britain

  • UK’s Afghan aid workers face new obstacles if they want to live and work in Britain
  • The new requirement is that they prove they pose a high and imminent threat to their lives. 
  • Labour MP Dan Jarvis and ex-paratrooper Dan Jarvis called it ‘utterly repugnable’

Yesterday, the Home Office was charged with betraying Afghans by narrowing refuge criteria from Taliban.

The new rules were laid out in a letter filed to the Commons library on Tuesday – rather than being announced in the House or by press release.

“Ministers have made it even harder for Afghans who were working alongside us in the UK to enter,” said Dan Jarvis (Labour MP, former paratrooper). 

“It is a contemptible act that can lead to the death of people, even brave Afghans who have volunteered to serve because they asked.”

Under the new Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, anyone who is directly employed by the UK military or government must be at ‘high and immediate risk’ of their life in order to enter the UK. The previous regulations required them to only demonstrate an imminent threat.

UK military personnel board a A400M aircraft departing from Kabul on August 28 earlier this year

UK military personnel board an A400M plane departing Kabul, August 28, earlier in the year

'Ministers have quietly made it much harder for Afghans who worked alongside us to enter the UK,' said Labour MP Dan Jarvis

“Ministers have made it even harder for Afghans who worked with us to get into the UK,” said Labour MP Dan Jarvis.

Mr Jarvis is a former paratrooper. He said: 'It is an utterly contemptible move that will lead to people being killed, including brave Afghans who stepped forward because we asked them to serve'

Jarvis was a paratrooper in the past. He stated, “It’s an utterly disgraceful move that will result in people being killed. This includes brave Afghans who have stepped forward as we requested them to serve.”

The scheme’s limit will be lowered to only those who are able to prove that they have “furthered the UK’s military and national safety objectives”. This change is coming just weeks after Boris Johnson had promised that Afghans would be welcomed if they helped the UK or worked alongside the Afghan government. Johnny Mercer was a Tory MP, who served three tours in Afghanistan and said, ‘I am extremely worried that now the spotlight has shifted. We aren’t doing what we promised.

The Defence Secretary, Prime Minister and Home Secretary have all been very vocal about their plans to look after the people. But thousands of these children are in hotels, with the rest of the family, as is the case now. It’s truly shameful.

Rafihottak, who was working as an interpreter for UK troops in Helmand, was shot to death.

“It is unfair to change or tighten an existing policy while so many are still waiting to be saved.

According to reports, thousands of Afghans working with the British for over 20 years still wait to hear if ARAP approval will be granted, even though some applied as far back as six months ago.

Two months ago, a British Council teacher applied to ARAP. When she saw the new changes that were made immediately, one woman wept.

She stated that a UK official cannot accurately and honestly assess the risks to an Afghan hiding under cover. The Taliban have been killing West-supporting Westerners since August when they took control of the country.

Kabul was ‘invited to by the Taliban’

The Taliban didn’t take Kabul – they were invited in, claimed Afghanistan’s former president.

Hamid Karzai was the leader for thirteen years following 9/11. He said that he could not help but open the doors to militants, after his predecessor Ashraf Gani fled. 

Karzai stated that the exodus prevented a final push for a negotiated deal.

He said the Taliban said its gunmen would remain outside the capital until a deal was struck – but by August 15, ‘there was no official present at all’.

More than than 100 former Afghan national security forces and others have been killed since the takeover. Pictured: Members of Afghanistan's security forces are seen in Herat on August 6, days before the Taliban takeover

Since the Taliban takeover, more than 100 ex-national security forces from Afghanistan and other personnel have been killed. Pictured: On August 6, 2006, members of Afghanistan’s security force were seen in Herat. This was just days before the Taliban tookover.

Sara de Jong from the Sulha Alliance (which campaigns for interpreters) stated that ARAP applicants are now at risk due to the backlog, and because of changes in regulations. The Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave Campaign, which won an award for excellence, highlighted the stories of numerous former military translators from Afghanistan and Afghans who had worked for the UK. However they were not evacuated.

Victoria Atkins (Minister for Afghan Resettlement) stated that the UK undertook its largest and most efficient emergency evacuation in recent times, which helped over 15,000 Afghans to safety. We are still supporting them.

“We’re updating ARAP immigration rules in order to clarify who can apply, allow more families to stay together and provide support for those who most need it.

“The Afghan citizenship resettlement program will soon be open. It is one of our most generous programs in the country’s recent history. It is unlikely that the changes will have an impact on translators, since they have all passed the ‘high-risk’ test. But it could affect those who are unable to flee.