Strike Two: Afghan Interpreter Might Not Find Safe Haven in UK
Having been denied asylum in Estonia, "Omar," an former interpreter for three Estonian infantry companies in Afghanistan, might not qualify for British aid either.
Under a deal officially announced by Great Britain this week, candidates have to have been on the British payroll on December 19, 2012 or later. "Omar" left service in September of that year.
But for that requirement, it had appeared the interpreter still had a good chance. There are over a thousand who could get asylum, and those who worked with the Danes and Estonians received special mention as being eligible.
"The British are estimating that the assistance program would cover approximately 1,200 people, among them interpreters. How many of them there are we don't know because the British signed the employment contracts. The data on how long they worked are in the hands of the British," said Ministry of Defense spokesman Artur Jugaste.
The interpreter, who is now being called in the Estonian media by his Facebook pseudonym Omar Jan, told ERR: "What I am interested about this British program is how I can apply for it. I think that if it is not successful, I must leave Afghanistan after all. After 2014, much will happen and I think the Taliban will come back again. I can't live in Afghanistan," he said.