Hero Afghan translator and his family will be welcomed to Rugby as they escape brutal Taliban reprisals

They bravely worked alongside British soldiers, but many of them now face murderous reprisals at the hands of the Taliban

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 11:37 am
British troops on operations in Afghanistan. Many soldiers have stated the work of the translators prevented the deaths of countless British troops.
British troops on operations in Afghanistan. Many soldiers have stated the work of the translators prevented the deaths of countless British troops.

An Afghan translator and his family will be offered the chance to move to Rugby in recognition of his commitment and bravery while serving with British troops in Helmand Province.

Thousands of Afghans placed themselves at great risk by bravely volunteering to work alongside British troops as translators, with 350 coalition translators killed in Taliban attacks since 2014.

Now, as coalition forces begin to leave the country and the Taliban seizes land, translators and their families are is serious danger of being murdered.

The government has drawn much criticism over perceived delays in ensuring Afghan translators were brought to safety in the UK, but it has now accelerated its programme to do so and, to achieve this, it has asked local authorities across the country for help.

Rugby Borough Council was one of these authorities and at a meeting on Monday, June 28, Rugby's cabinet voted unanimously to welcome a translator and his family to the town.

The family will be offered social housing in the most suitable area of the borough, taking into account any additional support the family will need for them to be integrated into the community.

Funding will be provided by the Home Office for the initial period until the family are able to support themselves.

Cllr Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Communities, Homes, Digital and Communications said: “Afghan translators have worked with our armed forces on the front line in Afghanistan under extremely dangerous conditions, and as our troops withdraw these families are at even greater risk.

“It is right that the Government has provided this scheme to recognise the bravery and commitment of these families, and it is right that Rugby will play its part.

“Providing a safe home is the very least that we can offer to a family.

“We look forward to welcoming a family into our communities and wish them the very best as they adjust to a new life here in Rugby.”

Rugby council leader Seb Lowe said: "I feel very strongly that those who served our armed forces abroad should have this kind of support from us here in the UK."

And Lib Dem leader Jerry Roodhouse said: "I would totally agree with that. Those that have worked for our armed forces and done the work in Afghanistan, in Helmand - we should be supporting them in this way.

"I think it's the right thing to do.

In total, the government is expected to bring 5,000 people, comprising translators and their families, to the UK prior to the final withdrawal of UK forces from Afghanistan later this year.

Presently the scheme is open to interpreters who served for a year or more continuously on the frontline in Helmand from 1 May 2006 and have been made redundant.