‘They call me a spy for infidels’: Afghan NATO interpreters feel abandoned to Taliban mercy

Former Afghan interpreters who worked for coalition forces during their campaign against the Taliban feel they were abandoned by their former employer and left to the mercy of the Islamic extremists.

Two men, employed by NATO troops in 2005, are now being threatened by the Taliban and living in constant fear for their lives. They have shared their stories with RT. For security reasons, their faces, names and location cannot be disclosed.

“I was with NATO in different parts of its operations, especially when they had training and security patrols. After 2013, when I left NATO, I was threatened by the Taliban in my own province through letters and telephone calls,” a former interpreter told RT.

“They said that I’m a spy for the infidels, and whenever they catch me – they’re going to kill me,” he said, adding that the Taliban militants do whatever they want and that they destroyed his house in Ghazni province.

The man requested help from NATO, hoping he wouldn’t be ignored. “But it is becoming clear that they don’t care about our work for them,” he added.

When reviewing similar cases in the past, NATO issued statements saying the alliance cannot grant visas, as it's at the discretion of member states and is subject to their national laws and procedures.

One of the men used to work for British troops and calls the UK's asylum system “broken and ill-conceived.”

Out of around 600 former Afghan interpreters currently eligible for UK visas, only 31 have so far been granted asylum.

A former translator RT talked to says the Taliban wants to kill him for his work with British troops.

The interpreter said he used to work for NATO forces in Helmand province. He has also been threatened many times with letters and phone calls. The Taliban dubbed him a “British spy” who worked for non-Muslims, saying that killing him and harming his family would serve an example to others.

The man said he has requested three times his case be considered by NATO. In case he is refused, he will have no other choice but to find an illegal way to move to the UK and “live a peaceful life at last.” At present, his life is hard as he cannot earn money to feed his family.