U.S. details plan to evacuate Afghan translators working with U.S. forces


Guards will inspect a damaged vehicle launching a rocket in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. At least three rockets collided near the presidential palace on Tuesday, just before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gave a speech to commemorate the Islamic holiday.  Eid-a-Adha.  (AP photo / Ramat Gull)

Afghan guards will inspect the ruins of a vehicle launching a rocket in Kabul on Tuesday. Just before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke, at least three rockets attacked near the presidential palace. (Rahmat Gul / Associated Press)

After criticism of slow action, the Biden administration Evacuate thousands of Afghans A person who worked as a US translator during the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

An interpreter whose life is at stake The Taliban’s rapid advance next Withdrawal of US troops, Will be shipped to the United States or other countries.

The first delegation of 750 Afghans and their relatives, about 1,800, who worked primarily as U.S. military interpreters, was transferred to Fort Lee, an Army garrison in Virginia, to allow them to live. Wait for the issuance of a special visa. Those working in the United States have already passed rigorous security audits, US officials say.

A second group of 4,000 people who worked as translators and an undisclosed number of relatives will be transferred to a third country, probably Qatar, to wait for processing.

The issuance of these visas was due to the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the September 11 deadline, without the Biden administration preparing for those most at risk for working with Americans. , The last and controversial of the past few months. Thousands are likely to be killed if they have to wait for visa processing in Afghanistan, he said.

“We are working as soon as possible to handle many of these, as we said. [special visa] “Make applicants as efficient as possible,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference Wednesday. … this is the beginning of many steps. “

U.S. officials have withheld most details of their efforts on behalf of translators until this week due to growing criticism from Congress, former Army officers, diplomats, and Afghan supporters because of security concerns.

As the Taliban occupy more of the country, hundreds of thousands of other Afghans (female activists, journalists, human rights defenders) are also at risk of death, torture, or imprisonment. The Taliban commander went when a religious extremist group ruled in the 1990s, when women were not allowed to show up, talk publicly, work, or work. There are already reports of returning to the same abuses to destroy and punish women and others. Go to school.

This week, an organization acting on behalf of journalists and women’s rights activists has petitioned Congress for additional visas to rescue some of its members.

However, a senior government official who was repeatedly asked at a briefing on Wednesday about tackling other vulnerable groups in Afghanistan could not give an answer. Many Afghan progressives believed in nearly 20 years of US-backed efforts to promote human rights, equal opportunity for women, open political discourse, and religious tolerance. When the Taliban dominate the country, everything can collapse.

“We are considering other options to provide them with safer options outside of Afghanistan,” officials said anonymously in accordance with the State Department’s protocol.

The administration is currently making more efforts to promote special visas, but the process remains cumbersome. Officials said Wednesday that Afghan applicants must go to the capital Kabul. That alone is a potentially deadly journey through the Taliban’s territory.

“We don’t have the ability to provide them with transportation,” officials said.

U.S. officials estimate that there are about 50,000 Afghan translators looking for ways out of the country, and 300 were killed awaiting a long visa process.

“In the 19 years we were there, literally thousands of Afghans helped us in many ways important to our efforts in Afghanistan,” said Steny Hoyer, D. -Md.) Said at a telephone press conference. Advocate additional visas for Afghanistan. “We owe it to them, and when we say we don’t leave them behind, we don’t leave them behind, we owe it to our own moral standards. . “

The House of Representatives will vote Thursday to raise the visa limit for Afghan interpreters.

This story was originally Los Angeles Times..