• publish: 26 June 2021
  • time: 2:03 pm
  • category: Social
  • No: 18099

About 80 Afghan interpreters flown to safety in Australia

About 80 Afghan interpreters and their families have arrived in Australia on commercial flights after being granted a safe haven for their work alongside Australian troops in Afghanistan.

According to the Guardian Australia, this comes after 41 interpreters wrote to the government twice earlier this year pleading for urgent help.

It is understood most of the people listed on the letter are among those who have been able to escape the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

One interpreter, Tariq Zia, who is in hotel quarantine in Melbourne said: “I am safe now [and] I am feeling well,” he told the Guardian.

“I am alone and still concerned about my [extended] family [in Afghanistan].”

Nawidullah Aarman told the Guardian he worked with coalition forces as an interpreter for almost a decade in hostile environments across Afghanistan assisting special forces elements. He left Kabul on Friday and is expected to touch down in Australia on Saturday evening after a stopover in Dubai.

“We will not believe it until we are boarded in the plane,” he said. “We have some colleagues that received their visas and waited for their flight for a long time.”

The home affairs department said that since 15 April about 180 people in Afghanistan had been granted a visa under the Afghan locally engaged employees (LEE) program, including family members, the Guardian reported.

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