Afghanistan: Army interpreter 'will die if deported'

Abdul Bari now and in combat fatigues Image copyright BBC/Collect
Image caption Abdul Bari worked for the British Army in Helmand Province

An interpreter who "risked his life" to help British troops in Afghanistan has said he will be killed by the Taliban if he is deported.

Abdul Bari, who fled from his home country to Manchester, has accused the government of deserting him by denying him asylum.

His lawyer Lewis Kett said he is seeking a judicial review challenging the rejection of his application.

A Home Office spokesman said it did not comment on individual cases.

Mr Bari, who acted as an interpreter for the Army in Helmand for two years, said: "They came to my country to help us so I have to help them."

"I helped the British forces at a very risky, very unsafe time but now I'm at risk so I wanted the British Government to look after me."

Mr Bari, who received death threats while he was working in Afghanistan, said: "Interpreters who have been deported to Afghanistan are all in danger.

"If I go back I will be killed."

The Home Office has allowed some interpreters to stay but but only those employed on a specific date in 2012 - Mr Bari worked prior to that period.

But his asylum application and appeals have been refused and he's been told he must go back to Kabul.

Lewis Kett, of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said: "The Home Office has accepted that he was an interpreter, they have accepted he was originally threatened but they have not accepted he is at risk in Kabul."

The case of interpreters seeking asylum has been backed by Lord Dannatt, Former Chief of General Staff for the British army, who said: "If they genuinely feel there is a threat to their safety then we have a moral obligation to look after them and that probably means giving them an opportunity to come to this country."

The Home Office spokesman said each asylum claim was carefully considered on its own merits.

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