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Govt needs to show Xmas spirit to injured Afghan interpreter

20 December 2012

Govt needs to show Xmas spirit to injured Afghan interpreter

The New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman needs to urgently look into the case of an Afghan interpreter injured in the same attack which killed Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell in August 2010, the Green Party said today.

Earlier this month the Government offered former interpreters who have worked for New Zealand soldiers or police in Afghanistan during the last two years the opportunity to move to New Zealand.

“Dr Coleman needs to investigate the case of the Afghan interpreter known as AJ,” Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said today.

“This man has been injured in the course of serving alongside New Zealand’s provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province.

“For him and his family to potentially miss out on the Government’s offer of moving to New Zealand seems completely unfair.

“The Government needs to show compassion in this case.

“I would urge Dr Coleman to look at how other countries – such as Canada – have offered residency to all Afghans that have provided assistance to Canadian forces in the past

“New Zealanders are very proud of the fact that we took the Tampa refugees.

“The Tampa refugees have integrated well and we should not hesitate to offer sanctuary to Afghans from Bamiyan,” said Dr Graham.
ends

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