Save British Council Educators from the Taliban

Save British Council Educators from the Taliban

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200,000!
At 200,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!

Victor Ponsford started this petition to Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace

Image caption: 2011 - Afghan security forces secure a landing zone as medivac helicopters arrive to evacuate soldiers wounded during a shoot-out after a suicide attack on the British Council in Kabul on the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain nearly a century ago. 

The British Council is the UK government’s cultural outreach organisation and was first established in Kabul in 1964. Since 2002, the British Council has employed dozens of Afghans, including educators, who have promoted British values such as democracy, justice, and education for all children, including girls. The British Council is viewed as part of the British government and is headquartered with the British Embassy in Kabul. To the Taliban, they are one and the same as the British Embassy or armed service personnel. 

British Council educators have often worked in hard-to-reach, remote areas at great personal risk. They have been at the forefront of efforts to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan. As such, they are known to the Taliban and their allies as spies and collaborators with Western “infidels”. Despite this, they have worked fearlessly for a peaceful and better future. 

The US, UK and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan has left them and their families in great peril. 

One of the educators, Abdul Ghulam, who is currently in hiding in a regional capital city under Taliban occupation, shared this on 12 August: 

“Because I work for the British Council I am perceived as promoting Christianity in schools. Many people also see me as a British spy. The mullah in our local mosque preaches that anyone supporting the British Council and teaching its language is an infidel, and he refers to me personally as evidence. I humbly urge the British government to grant me and my family asylum to relocate to the United Kingdom and live peacefully.”

The educators’ applications for settlement in the UK were rejected on the grounds that they did not have ‘exposed meaningful roles’. This is very far from reality given that many of them had long been on insurgents’ death lists due to being highly exposed in their British Council roles.

They are currently on Taliban death lists and are in hiding. They are in greater danger now that the Taliban is in control almost everywhere. We have already lost contact with ten educators - and we have no idea if they and their families are alive. 

Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, must save these brave educators before it is too late.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200,000!
At 200,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!