A former Afghan interpreter who saved the lives of British service personnel takes legal action against UK Government after he claims their inaction has led to attacks on him and his family
An Afghan national who worked as an interpreter with the British Armed Forces, and who saved the lives of British servicemen and women is taking legal action against the Government over what his lawyers claim is a breach of the UK’s intimidation policy, known as the Locally Employed Staff Policy Framework.
The man known only as ‘Chris’ for his own safety, served in Helmand and in Kandahar provinces as part of dangerous frontline missions.
He worked for the SAS and was commended for saving the life of a Company Medic from a canal whilst under fire.
He has repeatedly requested that he and his family be allowed to relocate to the UK as he has been subject to sustained intimidation as well as serious attacks on him and his wife and two young children as a result of his work for the British Armed Forces.
In December 2014 he was shot and injured by insurgents outside his home. He suffered two bullet wounds in his legs and was hospitalised for many weeks, whilst his three-year-old son suffered a broken wrist in the incident.
Chris and his family now live in hiding, moving between different locations in Afghanistan.
His lawyers Leigh Day believe that the Government’s assessment of the threats, as well as their response to the attacks faced by Chris and his family, was and remains unjustifiable on the facts, procedurally unfair, and in breach of the Intimidation Policy.
The Intimidation Policy is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office and is intended to assist staff in managing any risks to their and their family’s safety as a result of their work for the UK.
Given the string of serious incidents targeting Chris and his family, his lawyers believe that they fall into the ‘Red’ category which states: “the threat to the safety of the LE staff member and/or their family, which is linked to their employment with HMG, is judged to be significant and imminent or has already been carried out.”.
His lawyers argue that only relocation to the UK would be sufficient to mitigate that threat. Chris has been highly commended by his commanding officers.
Rosa Curling, lawyer from law firm Leigh Day representing ‘Chris' said:
“The issues arising in Chris’ case appear to reflect a systemic unwillingness by this Government to properly protect the UK’s former Afghan Staff by relocation to the UK under the Intimidation Policy.
“The MOD has spent billions on military action in Afghanistan on the basis that the Taliban posed a threat to British citizens in the UK. “Now we are told the same insurgents are not a threat to those who assisted British Forces in targeting Taliban operatives in their own country.
“Chris put his life at risk on numerous occasions protecting the lives of British soldiers. For doing this, both he and his family have been brutally attacked and ostracised.
“The UK will always need to rely on local expertise when it implements foreign policy, the Government’s inconsistency in protecting locally engaged staff undermines the trust required of those who put their lives on the line.”.