‘A real prince would help us’: Afghan interpreters seeking asylum in UK appeal to Prince Harry
While parts of the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp in France’s Calais are being bulldozed, some asylum seekers are not giving up hopes of getting to the UK. Some have even appealed to the British royals, saying they’ve risked their lives for the country.
Two former Afghan interpreters for the British army who have now settled in a legal container park in the French port have told RT they still deserve a better life and an official asylum in the UK, having served the monarchy well.
The men, whose identities RT can’t reveal, have assisted British troops in Afghanistan for years, not only helping with the language barrier, but also providing intelligence services, having risked their lives.
“I worked from 2009 to 2013, for more than three years we were translating... Before an enemy was doing an action we were informing them [the British army] what they [Taliban fighters] were up to, what they were going to do next. We helped [the army] a lot, we should be on priority, because we saved many lives for British forces,” one of the men told RT's Polly Boiko.
“I put my life at risk for them,” another man added, saying that although he was an interpreter, he was also involved in “many operations.”
The two men claim they even have a “friend” in the royal family. They are counting on help from Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, who has served in the Middle Eastern country – together with them, they say.
“Prince Harry was living with us, he was in the same camp, sitting at a table next to us,” the men from Afghanistan now stuck so close to the British border, told RT. They've sent him a message, they said: “If he’s a real prince, he should help us.”
#Taliban rocket narrowly missed #PrinceHarry in #Afghan tour, book reveals https://t.co/wkyVLcM7fG— Sami Parvez (@BalochSami) February 5, 2016
The men told RT how they and their families were getting death threats because of their work for foreign forces, which prompted them to apply to come to the UK. They used an official visa scheme for former interpreters, hoping their case is rock solid: years of service and proof to back up their claims.
But neither of them received a reply.
“They don't care about us,” the men told RT, showing the reporter a British certificate of commendation that stated that the men worked as specialist interpreters within regional command.
Police cordon off area for demolition, but even on frontline & in glare of media lens, life goes on. #CalaisJunglepic.twitter.com/vEocwO3U9r— Polly Boiko (@Polly_Boiko) March 3, 2016
The two also happen to know another former Afghan interpreter – Khushal, also known as “Happy.” He spent almost a year trying to reach the UK through the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe, and also met with RT at the Calais camp.
READ MORE: ‘It’s my last option:’ RT meets ex-Afghan interpreter trying to cross into UK from Calais
While Khushal might finally have found a happy refuge in the UK, there are hundreds of others like him and the two Afghan men now stuck in Calais. About 600 civilian workers, who cooperated with the British military in Afghanistan, could seek protection and apply for a special immigration scheme to get asylum in Britain, because the Taliban has threatened their lives.