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23 August 2021

Get me out before they kill me! Plea by Afghan who helped UK forces arrest Taliban members

23 August 2021

An Afghan who was warned he would be hunted and killed for working with British authorities to arrest Taliban members has said it is the UK’s “moral responsibility” to help him escape with his family.

Hamid, whose real name has been not been included for security reasons, worked alongside the National Crime Agency (NCA) with a local force arresting drug dealers and traffickers in Afghanistan

He said many of the criminals he arrested in house raids included senior Taliban members who have now been released since the group captured the country.

Hamid told the PA news agency he has applied for relocation to Britain but has not had a response from UK authorities.

He has now gone into hiding with his wife and young children for fear of death if they are found.

We helped our country, (the) West and the world... now as we are in trouble, we ask them to help us back

“We were working shoulder to shoulder with the NCA and UK embassy… to save the world from this type of people who destroy people’s lives,” Hamid said.

“We helped our country, (the) West and the world… now, as we are in trouble, we ask them to help us back.

“We are criminals to (the Taliban), a very bad one as we arrested their senior leaders and powerful drug dealers.

“They were telling us that we will hunt you and will kill you.”

He added: “To be honest, we destroyed their homes when we (were) arresting them. We tore apart their families as they were the bad guys, not just for Afghans, but for all humankind.”

Drug production and smuggling has been a major source of revenue to the Taliban in recent years, with Afghanistan responsible for the majority of the world’s opium supply.

It is estimated that 95% of heroin on sale in the UK has originated from the country, another reason British authorities have been so keen to clamp down on the trade.

Hamid worked with the NCA to target those involved in the illegal industry, and said he was warned when making arrests: “Do not trust foreigners as one day they will leave.”

“However, we arrested them and put them behind bars for very long time according to law,” he added.

“Now, they are free and everywhere in Afghanistan and with more power like never before.”

Hamid said of the UK Government: “I think this is their moral responsibility that people like us should not be left to be massacred or tortured by Taliban.”

US soldiers stand guard along the perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan (Shekib Rahmani/AP) (AP)

Since seizing Afghanistan, the Taliban has stated that there will not be recriminations for those assisting Western authorities such as the UK and US.

However, Hamid warned there is a “big difference (between) what they say and what they do”.

“From the fall of Kabul, our colleagues are saying their houses were searched by Taliban and Taliban now have night raids,” he told PA in a message through a translator.

It has been reported that the organisation has captured biometric data gathered by the US in Kabul, which includes fingerprints and retinal scans – and Hamid said his and those of his entire family are on the database.

“My brother told me do not get computerised (identification cards) as they get your picture, and all fingerprints, but I was (an) employee and (could not refuse) the government of Afghanistan,” he said.

“I did, and all my (children) and wife… sooner or later they will find all of us as you cannot hide your fingerprint.”

Hamid said he and his younger brother, Ahmad, whose name has also been changed, are both “famous” in their home province for working with Westerners.

Ahmad, who is in his 20s and also has a child, is appealing for evacuation to America, as he is now at risk, having worked for US non-governmental organisations.

He told PA: “Yesterday I met (Hamid), his lips were dry and I (could) see fear in his face colour and his voice.

“He tried to give me courage, confidence that everything will be all right and we will find a way to go outside together.

“I know this is not happening… we do not know that we will ever have a normal type of life here anymore… I mean, how can you when you know Taliban kill you?”

Ahmad said he would like to be able to settle in the UK with his brother, but understands this may not be possible.

“If not possible, yes, it will be disheartening… I told my brother that at least we will be safe and, if all goes well, then we can meet each other easily in US and UK,” he said.

“I have never thought that I would leave my country.”

An NCA spokesman said: “All NCA officers have now been withdrawn from Afghanistan.

“For security reasons we cannot comment on individual cases, but we are in contact with the UK Government regarding those who may be eligible for relocation through their association with the NCA.

“We have already resettled a number of individuals and their families.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Our staff are working tirelessly to facilitate the swift evacuation of British nationals, Afghan staff and others at risk.

“The scale of the evacuation effort is huge and we have helped more than 5,000 people leave Afghanistan since Sunday.”

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