Exclusive: Ministers accused of moral bankruptcy over Afghanistan after leaked email

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The UK government has been accused of being “morally bankrupt” by a reputable law firm after a leaked email series showed the Foreign Office shutting down an inbox dedicated to helping Afghans flee the country. Have given.

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An email from the Foreign Office, viewed by Granthshala, addressed a lawyer helping women judges stranded in Afghanistan, said that “this mailbox is now closed” and that no email “will be read or answered”.

comes after Granthshala More than 200 female judges have recently been found to be hiding from the Taliban in Afghanistan, while campaigners have warned they are at risk of being killed by the Taliban.

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The Taliban have freed thousands of prisoners, including militants and senior al Qaeda operatives, experts say, fearing for their safety the judges responsible for sending many new criminals to prison are now free.

Lawyers for a well-known law firm Mischon de Reya told Granthshala They have launched legal action against the UK government after 35 Afghan judges – both male and female – who were being hunted by Taliban members rejected visa applications.

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“The closure of the Foreign Office inbox is another example of the government washing its hands off the situation,” said Maria Patasalos, an attorney for the firm. Granthshala. “It’s the morally bankrupt of them. It’s a sign of their carelessness towards the situation. They don’t care about the people left behind. They believe they can shut shop.”

Ms Patsalos, who is being supported by barristers from the Garden Court Chambers, warned that female Afghan judges are in “imminent danger” and are being forced to move “from safe house to safe house on a daily basis”. Is.

She said: “They have no money because the Taliban have frozen their bank accounts. They are struggling to feed their children.

“The Taliban are knocking from door to door to find them. Extended family members are beaten until they tell them where they are. We have kidnapped, two children were kidnapped by a judge, but both children were eventually returned after extensive negotiations.

The solicitor said that the closure of the Foreign Office’s email inbox shows that the ministers have overstated the crisis in Afghanistan and also wrongly assumed that the British public no longer cares about the issue.

“That’s not the case,” she said. “The average person on the street cares about what happens in Afghanistan. Evacuation planes are leaving from Afghanistan. None of them are going to the UK as no Afghan nationals have been granted visas from the UK. There is still a chance to help those who are suffering who are in danger on the ground.”

He said the “initial political will” shown when Downing Street said it would provide sanctuary to 5,000 Afghans in the UK is “hot air”.

Ms Patsalos, whose law firm represented Gina Miller in her case against the government over Brexit, warned that even if the email inbox is closed for practical reasons, there is a lack of evidence that the UK government is actively engaging with the Taliban. Helping Afghans at risk of death. Which his law firm considers “totally fit within the rules” for entry into the UK.

He said judges should be allowed to enter Britain through one of the government’s two official Afghan resettlement schemes.

“The UK government has trained judges to help give the rule of law on the ground and now they have removed the troops and left the people behind,” he said. “Despite his internal ties with the British justice system and his consultation with British legal professionals, he has been effectively abandoned by the UK Civil Service.”


“His life is in great danger. The tone of his messages this week is worse than last week. You can recognize the fear in his voice.”

Marzia Babakarkhail

But a UK government spokesman told Granthshala: “We are continuing to work through the more than 200,000 requests we have received and support is available seven days a week with dedicated civil servants supporting British and Afghan citizens.

“We will continue to do everything possible to secure a safe passage to enable British citizens and eligible Afghans to leave the country. Our contact channels are open for those seeking assistance. “

There are about 250 female judges in total in Afghanistan, but a small number of female judges have managed to flee in recent weeks.

A child of a female Afghan judge, who is currently hiding in Afghanistan, said: “Please save my mother. We are in jail at home.”

In January, unidentified gunmen shot and killed two female Supreme Court judges, but a Taliban spokesman at the time said they were not linked to the attack.

The Taliban came to power in mid-August after the withdrawal of US and other Western troops. The radical Islamist group that ruled the country in the past had barred women from working, girls were barred from going to school, and women had to be chased by a male relative to leave the house.

A judge, who is currently hiding in Afghanistan, previously told Granthshala She is scared of the Taliban or that the recently freed prisoners will kill her if they find her.

Marzia Babakarkhail, who worked as a family court judge in Afghanistan but now lives in London, said female Afghan judges submitted visa forms to the UK government after the Afghanistan resettlement plan was announced but did not receive a response .

She said: “They feel very disappointed. They trusted and relied on the government to help. The UK government said they have given priority to female journalists, judges and all men and women who have worked directly with the UK government and the previous Afghan government, but now I do not see any progress in their cases.”

The 55-year-old, who has been campaigning for the release of female judges from Afghanistan, said the mental health of women judges hiding in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate and she is feeling “depressed”.

Ms Babakarkhail, who moved to the UK in 2008, said: “They are very confused. How long can they stay hidden in safe houses? The international community and the UK government must kindly act now, otherwise, it will be too late.

“His life is in great danger. The tone of his messages this week is worse than last week. You can recognize the fear in his voice.”

talking to Granthshala In a previous interview, she accused the Taliban of trying to kill her in 1997 in Afghanistan and again in 2007 in Pakistan. In the first instance, she said she was forced to hide in an alley for five hours after nine Taliban members approached her. House.

“They broke down the door without permission,” she said. “They wanted to shoot me. They were searching the house and asked my mother and two sisters a lot of questions about me.

The campaigner, who also set up a foundation to educate girls in Pakistan, accused the Taliban of ramming her into a car in a second incident in Pakistan – adding that she suffered back and leg injuries.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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