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Govt needs to speed up processes for at risk Afghan

26 February 2014

Govt needs to speed up processes for at risk Afghan

The New Zealand Government has an obligation to safeguard any former Afghan staff that worked in its service, Green Party defence spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said today.

An Afghan who worked with the New Zealand Defence Forces, who wants to come to New Zealand, has allegedly escaped execution by the Taliban. News reports today state the man worked for more than six years for New Zealand forces in Bamiyan and Bagram, and in Kabul.

“Immigration Minister Woodhouse needs to bypass any long winded bureaucratic processes that may be putting former Afghan staff of the New Zealand Defence Force in danger,” Dr Graham said.

“The latest case of an Afghan that worked with our Defence Force, and has since suffered maltreatment at the hands of Afghan insurgents, should be a wake-up call for Mr Woodhouse and his department.

“A busy Immigration Minister may think three months is fast-track but when you are marked for death by the Taliban it is an eternity.

“The situation in this case seems pretty clear. If this man did work for the New Zealand Defence Force and has support from members of the military then get him out of Kabul now.

“These people put their lives, and the lives of their families, at real risk to support our troops in Afghanistan it’s time to repay that help,” Dr Graham said.

ENDS

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