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Refugees call on Home Secretary to give refuge to family members living under the Taliban

TWO Afghan refugees evacuated to Britain last month have urged Home Secretary Priti Patel to give refuge to their extended families, who are stuck in a “life-threatening situation.”

Nazir, a former interpreter, and Shams, who worked at the British embassy in Kabul for 10 years, said that their past employment by Western forces means their relatives in Afghanistan are at risk from the Taliban. 

Both men were evacuated from Kabul airport at the start of August and have been staying at a hotel in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. 

Speaking at a cricket match organised by the town’s Baptist church at the weekend, Shams said: “We feel safe and we appreciate the opportunity to be here.

“But some of my colleagues and relatives are in hiding from the Taliban.

“They have been shifting their locations, but this is a very temporary measure … they are living in a life-threatening situation.

“I just remind Priti Patel of her words. When she said that she owes a debt of gratitude to the Afghan people, I think that’s the best way to put it and we really hope the UK will continue to try its best to evacuate the people who deserve it.”

Nazir, 43, who worked in Helmand between 2009 and 2012, said his family of nine had been forced to relocate 12 times in Afghanistan “due to being threatened by the Taliban” and he fears for his brother and sister-in-law, who did not manage to escape.

Speaking about their current situation in Britain, Shams added that they had not yet been told by the Home Office when to expect a permanent home. 

“We really request [the Home Office] to expediate and speed up the process to help us find suitable housing and start our life properly,” he said. 

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