Afghan interpreter ‘Happy’ fears deportation from UK without case even considered
"I had a very hard journey... it's about eight or nine months [since] I arrived ...[in] Britain, but now the British government took this decision – they are going to send me back to Greece. But until the end of my life I'm going to keep on coming here again, because I have really big problems in Afghanistan," the man told RT's Polly Boiko.
Khushal Talash worked as an interpreter helping British forces in Afghanistan, but then had to flee his home country for the UK because of persecution by the Taliban, which had already killed his brother.
"The British special forces used me as a soldier. I wasn't a soldier; I was an interpreter. But they used me as a soldier," the man said, adding that he is now "really upset with the British government."
"What should I do in Greece? I didn't have job with the Greek army in Afghanistan, with Greek government," he told RT.
The man may now be deported to Greece under the Dublin procedure, as he was registered there when he first entered the EU, ex-army officer George Tyldesley, who helped Khushal get to the UK, wrote in a petition update on change.org.
Tyldesley launched a petition in order to persuade the Minister of Immigration, James Brokenshire, to reassess Khushal’s case and accept his application.
According to Tyldesley, placing “Happy” under the Dublin procedure could mean he could be deported to Greece “for them to take his case … before the merits of his individual case are even looked at.”
Tyldesley repeatedly stressed earlier that Khushal had risked his life on numerous occasions to help the UK’s forces in Afghanistan and had saved the lives of British soldiers several times. He was “receiving only the highest reports” while serving with British troops for two years.
After leaving the UK army’s service, “Happy” became a “hunted man,” so he applied for a UK visa. He did not qualify under “David Cameron’s scheme,” however, because he was not serving with British troops at the end of 2012. He was also unable to meet the criteria for intimidation, because his Taliban-controlled home village was too dangerous for the British or Afghan officials to visit in order to carry out checks, Tyldesley says in his petition.
On his year-long journey to the UK, “Happy” was repeatedly abused, exploited, and robbed. His overfilled boat almost sank in the Mediterranean Sea, he was beaten by Italian police and sent to Greece to be imprisoned. Eventually, he made it the Calais refugee camp where he was stuck for weeks, but finally managed to reach Britain in September.
“Sometimes I’m thinking to myself, this is a dream. I’m not in the UK for real now, I’m just thinking I’m seeing a dream,” he told RT’s Polly Boiko in September just few days after he arrived in the UK.
Upon his arrival to the United Kingdom, “Happy” filed an asylum request once again.
“I want to be a good citizen in Britain and after that, if I get a chance to go to Oxford University, I want to be a dentist,” the former Afghan interpreter told Boiko at the time.
“This is a man who loves and has effectively served our country,” his Afghan war pal Tyldesley wrote in the petition.
However, Khushal’s future now seems uncertain yet again. Tyldesley has made a desperate public appeal, asking people to write e-mails to the UK’s migration minister in hopes of influencing the Afghan interpreter’s fate.