Britain turning away Afghan refugees despite Taliban resurgence in Helmand

© Phil Noble
Afghan refugees seeking asylum in Britain are being turned away despite the worsening security situation in the country’s south following years of UK occupation.

While 90 percent of asylum claims by Syrian refugees are successful, the same is true of only a third of Afghans.

Refugee charities say this is due to a “culture of disbelief” at the Home Office, which results in desperate people being left in dire situations.

Debora Singer, from the charity Asylum Aid, told the Independent: “The UK grant rate (for applications) on average is 41 percent but the average for Afghans is much lower.

That gap often demonstrates the level of risk perceived by the Home Office.

The issue we’re most concerned about is asylum seekers facing a culture of disbelief,” she added.

Singer called on the Home Office to instead create a “culture of protection.

The United Nations reports that while the majority of refugees and migrants traveling to Europe from the Middle East and Central Asia are Syrians, up to 21 percent are Afghans.

The security situation in the south of Afghanistan has deteriorated rapidly in the last week with most of the symbolic town of Sangin, where 106 British soldiers died between 2006 and 2014, reportedly under insurgent control.

Some 450 UK troops remain in Afghanistan, but a further 10 are reported to have been deployed to advise Afghan troops fighting in Helmand.

On Tuesday, the local police chief, whose men are besieged in Sangin with little ammunition, advised the central government to “dig 200 graves” for him and his men.

Commenting on his blog on Wednesday, Labour MP Paul Flynn, a vocal opponent of the 14-year war in Afghanistan, said the conflict had become “an orphan” with all the main instigators trying to avoid blame.

“The chorus of pundits are busy re-writing and self-justifying their failures and deceptions,” Flynn wrote. “The plain tragic truth comes from the loved ones of the soldiers who lost their lives or were cruelly injured in mind and body.

Their grief and hurt has been churned up again,” he said.