CAMPAIGNERS who want Afghan interpreters to be granted asylum in the UK have handed a 78,000-strong petition to the government.
The group, including former servicemen who served in Afghanistan and an interpreter who has fled to Britain, gave the petition to officials at the Foreign Office in London.
It comes as lawyers acting for three Afghan interpreters who have worked with British forces launched a legal challenge to the government’s decision not to allow them to settle in the UK.
One interpreter, known only as Abdul, set up the petition to urge ministers to change their policy. Aimed at Foreign Secretary William Hague, it states: “As concerned UK citizens, we call on you to immediately grant asylum to all Afghan nationals who have worked as translators for British forces in Afghanistan.
“Risks to their lives are growing daily as the UK starts to withdraw; we cannot abandon them and we must act now. Their fate is in your hands.”
This week, Prime Minister David Cameron said Afghan interpreters who worked with British forces should, where possible, stay on in their country to help rebuild it after years of conflict.