Demand freedom for an Afghani interpreter who assisted the Allies

Demand freedom for an Afghani interpreter who assisted the Allies

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Assisting Allied troops and NGOs as a volunteer in Afghanistan was not likely to win him any awards, in a country ruled by a hierarchy deeply suspicious of Western influence. “Peter”, a caring teacher, husband and father, offered his services as an interpreter to international military personnel who used the nearby highway regularly as a thoroughfare.  Once his behaviour was noticed by the Taliban, he began to be targeted, and realising that his life may be at risk, he fled the country.  

Upon Peter’s arrival in Australia, he was detained, but he was eventually found to be owed protection due to his work as an interpreter for Allied troops, and he was granted a visa and was released into the community.  Unfortunately, the bridging visa he received had no work rights, rendering him unable to support himself in Australia, or his family back home in Afghanistan – left as the head of the household back home, Peter’s wife struggled to take care of their young family.  Desperate, Peter blindly acted and committed a crime which would have him thrown back into detention.  Three and a half years later, Peter is still in detention in Australia, having had his visa revoked.  

Currently, no deportations are taking place to anywhere, due to COVID-19.  Deportations back to Afghanistan are rare to non-existent, due to safety concerns, particularly for people of Peter’s tribal ethnicity.  Interpreters who have assisted Allied troops have been issued with protection visas in the past, which allow them to work and support themselves in Australia.  This is what Peter should have received in the first place.

Peter is stuck in limbo.  He cannot support his family while in detention.  He cannot be sent back home.  He waits, not knowing if or when anything will change to relieve his anxiety about his family and their future.  He has been separated from them for over 7 years.

Interpreters enabled Allied soldiers to protect themselves, to do their jobs and to help the Afghan people as they struggle under the oppression of the Taliban regime.  They should be regarded as heroes instead of being treated like criminals.

Please sign and share to demand that Peter Dutton, Alan Tudge and the Departments of Immigration and Home Affairs release Peter on a protection visa that will allow him to support himself and to send funds home to help his family. 

Please also think about donating to Human Rights for All, so we can continue our pro bono work for people like Peter.