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Afghan amnesty needs to include SAS interpreters

21 October 2013

Afghan amnesty needs to include SAS interpreters

The Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman needs to widen the amnesty regarding Afghan interpreters who assisted New Zealand forces to include those that served with our recent SAS deployment, the Green Party said today.

Media reports suggest that six interpreters who worked for the Special Air Service (SAS) deployment won't be allowed into New Zealand.

“Both the Afghan interpreters that served with the provincial reconstruction team and those that served with the NZSAS put their lives, and the lives of their families, at real risk,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“Minister Coleman needs to make certain that those interpreters who served with the SAS are not overlooked due to the fact they haven’t filled out the correct form.

“Rather than making these people jump through bureaucratic hoops in a war zone, the Government should simply offer those Afghan interpreters that served with the SAS the opportunity for amnesty in New Zealand.

“The Government did the right thing in making certain those that served with the PRT were resettled in New Zealand.  Now is the time to make certain that we fulfil all our obligations to those that served with New Zealand forces.

“The bombing over the weekend that could have severely injured or killed former New Zealand politician Chris Carter shows just what a dangerous place Kabul is,” said Dr Graham.

ENDS

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