Over half Iraqi interpreters rejected again!

#1
Britain's breach of honour over Iraq interpreters

More than half the Iraqi interpreters who applied to come to live in Britain have had their applications rejected, drawing accusations that the Government is “wriggling out” of its promise to help former Iraqi employees.

The Times has learnt that 125 of the 200 interpreters who took up the offer to resettle in Britain have failed to meet the strict criteria laid down for eligibility.

The revelation challenges Gordon Brown’s pledge in August that the Government would fulfil its “duty of care” to those who had served with British troops.

In three cases seen by The Times, former Iraqi employees were told that they were ineligible because of “absenteeism”.

Mohammad’s body was found dumped in wasteland. His crime: to have worked as an interpreter for the British in Iraq

The interpreters claim that they risked their lives to serve the British and are living in constant danger of reprisal from Shia militias. If they did not show up for work, it was because they were fleeing for their lives. They said that they now felt betrayed by the Government.

After a two-month campaign by The Times that highlighted the plight of the interpreters, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, promised to help them under a scheme launched in October.

Last night MPs urged the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to reconsider the decisions. The 200 interpreters are among a total of 600 Iraqis who have applied to come to Britain, all people who have worked for the British and who today face intimidation from Iranian-backed Shia groups.

Safa, 28, one of the rejected interpreters who worked for the British for more than two years, received a letter from the Locally Employed Staff Assistance Office in Basra which said: “We have considered your case very carefully but we are sorry to inform you that, because your service with the British Forces was terminated for absence, you do not meet the minimum employment criteria for this scheme.”

Safa told The Times that he had never resigned but had been forced to stop working after receiving two bullets and a written death threat at his house in Basra in April. Married with one child, he said that he was advised by an army liaison officer and intelligence officials to stay at home until he felt safe.

A few months later the interpreter contacted the military to see if he could return only to be told that he was not needed but would be called if an opening arose.

Safa thought back to when he had stood by the British troops during two and a half years of service since April 2004.

“Was I absent when they needed their lives saving?” he said, recalling the time that he took off his flak jacket and turned his T-shirt and trousers into a makeshift rope to help 12 soldiers out of an irrigation channel. They had been struggling to cross because of the weight of their body armour and weapons.

“Was I absent when the militias were mortaring us all the time? Was I absent when I had to sleep in the cold desert with the soldiers?”

Iraqis employed by the British have to prove “continuous” service for at least 12 months to be eligible to come to Britain. The interpreters have had the highest-profile jobs, but others who have worked at the Embassy in Baghdad, the consulate in Basra and with the Department for International Development have also faced threats.

The MoD yesterday insisted that if an Iraqi could prove that he had been absent from work because of intimidation, then he would still be considered. But it emerged that those who have now been turned down for British residency have no right of appeal.

The FCO refused to discuss individual cases but, in a statement, said: “Staff who terminated their employment as a result of intimidation are eligible for assistance. We fully recognise the difficulties of such staff and do not insist on official or formal notification, or staff working out their notice.”

David Lidington, a Conservative foreign affairs spokesman, said the Government should not try to “wriggle out” of commitments made to former Iraqi employees. “The test should be whether they are in danger because they worked for the British, not their record in the attendance register.”

Lynne Featherstone, a Liberal Democrat MP who has championed the cause of the Iraqi interpreters, said that the Government needed to use its imagination in a difficult case.

“If those Iraqis who have helped us are now being told that they can't come here because their absence was regarded as a resignation, this is the world gone mad,” she said.
In full

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3037418.ece
 
#3
Bloody civil service mentality. 'No-one ever got into trouble for saying no.'

Someone needs to take this process by the balls and that someone has to be the reponsible minister.
 
#4
The Government continues to stall, drag its feet and deny, meanwhile their moral obligations disappear via the business end of an AK-47.
 
#5
I can think of at least 600-odd places we could put them and it's not like the current incumbents are earning their keep.

I would love to say this is unbelievable, but sadly it's quite the opposite. That's as ringing an indictment of this country as I can think of.
 
#6
But we'll let any old illegal in...Jesus wept.

Mere proof (say, a declaration from the relevant unit CO) that they'd worked for us as interpreters should have been the end of the matter. Get them in, get them set up and allow them to make a new life for themselves.
 
#7
Makes me ashamed to be British
 
#8
Safa, 28, one of the rejected interpreters who worked for the British for more than two years, received a letter from the Locally Employed Staff Assistance Office in Basra which said: “We have considered your case very carefully but we are sorry to inform you that, because your service with the British Forces was terminated for absence, you do not meet the minimum employment criteria for this scheme.”

Safa told The Times that he had never resigned but had been forced to stop working after receiving two bullets and a written death threat at his house in Basra in April. Married with one child, he said that he was advised by an army liaison officer and intelligence officials to stay at home until he felt safe.
Even if we lock them up in this country until we can go through their details, let's get them the fcuk out of Iraq.

How do politicians sleep at night?
 
#9
Simplistic view I know but, anyway these people can get to the UK and then apply?

There's a fcuking taliban twat now residing in Scotland that this govt wont kick out and these people are left to defend for themselves. :x
 
#11
It makes me sick,

Politicians are too busy enjoying their own self importance, they have forgotten that they are in position to make this country better, but instead they make it worse. They allow lethargy to prosper, and languor to be a serious career choice for the fine labour voting community. But will not support people who willingly risk it all for a country they have never seen.

Brown you are a disgusting populist cretin who happily paid homage to that fantasist John Smeaton but will not lift a finger to save the lives of humans who are loyal to your armed forces and citizens.

The Next time your party wants a war how about you strip to the waist and take on the leader yourself.

WEAK FEEBLE INDIVIDUAL.
 
#12
T.F.R said:
It makes me sick,

Politicians are too busy enjoying their own self importance, they have forgotten that they are in position to make this country better, but instead they make it worse. They allow lethargy to prosper, and languor to be a serious career choice for the fine labour voting community. But will not support people who willingly risk it all for a country they have never seen.

Brown you are a disgusting populist cretin who happily paid homage to that fantasist John Smeaton but will not lift a finger to save the lives of humans who are loyal to your armed forces and citizens.

The Next time your party wants a war how about you strip to the waist and take on the leader yourself.

WEAK FEEBLE INDIVIDUAL.
Well said , I could,nt have put it better myself.

LT
 
#14
E-mailed my M.P to tell him that if we don't stand by the people who help us when we need them, Then we must expect to lose the support and respect of the iraqi population,
Sends a great message to anyone tasked with assisting coalition forces,eh?
 
#15
Surely if said interpreters could name the unit/units they worked for. The Officer in charge of employing the interpreters could be called to vouch for them!!!


Or is that too difficult?
 
#16
poohyerpants said:
Surely if said interpreters could name the unit/units they worked for. The Officer in charge of employing the interpreters could be called to vouch for them!!!


Or is that too difficult?
Right to a degree - and there are problems that I won't go into here, that sometimes make it difficult to authenticate them in the way you describe. For the majority, you are absolutely right.
 
#17
This is Communist/hard-line socialist civil servants who over a long period of time have weedled their way into positions of power with the aim of promoting more of their kind,but more importantly,making decisions to aid the enemies of Britain with the ultimate aim of turning Britain into a Communist state.

In this aim,they are enthusiastically helped by a large proportion of the Liarbore government.

Why do the same civil servants grant citizenship to every other asylum seeker-including those with criminal records?.

The only good Communist is a dead one.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#18
Could dbe on their way:
Up to 1,500 Iraqis who worked as interpreters for British Armed Forces are to be flown to Britain, it was claimed last night.

The Iraqi interpreters and their families will be settled in two unnamed northern cities from April.

The resettlement operation, being co-ordinated by the Home Office, is alleged to be far bigger than previously thought - it had been reported that fewer than 100 interpreters would be affected.

Gordon Brown agreed to grant asylum to interpreters last year after it was disclosed that the lives of those working for the military in Iraq were in danger.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/16/niraqis116.xml
 
#19
BRIGHTER 2006 :D had a reply from my MP clive betts :eek: who also enclosed a letter from Border and Immigration Agency :? still not clear whats happening though but at least he s gone into it andf got a reply from B+IA faceless civil servants if you want it posting to you PM me and i ll forward a copy to you
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#20
Some success:
Iraqis who risked their lives working for Britain have been cleared to resettle in the UK, with the first families expected to arrive next month, The Times can reveal.

The first wave will include seven former interpreters who have met the strict criteria for resettlement and have chosen to come to Britain. Many others have accepted cash payments to stay in Iraq or decided to resettle in a neighbouring country such as Jordan or Syria.

After the plight of interpreters was highlighted by The Times, the Government agreed to offer sanctuary to those who had received death threats from militias who accused them of collaborating with the enemy.

Almost 160 of those eligible to relocate have chosen one-off cash payments instead of moving to Britain as part of assistance announced by David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, in October.

A Ministry of Defence official suggested yesterday that the decision of many Iraqis to stay at home reflected the improving security situation. He said: “They are making the decision that it is safe to stay in Iraq and to use the money to improve their lives.” Each Iraqi will receive about £3,300.

But some interpreters accused the Government of making the procedure to apply for new lives in Britain too complicated and slow, to put pressure on people to take the money as an easier option. “They don’t want us to enter the UK for many reasons,” one interpreter said.

Hundreds have been left disappointed. Out of a total of 775 Iraqis who applied for the help, 360 were turned down. Applicants had to prove that they worked for the British for at least 12 consecutive months. Fifty had never worked for the British.

Former staff are entitled to the money or to apply for resettlement in Britain through a scheme run in partnership with the Gateway programme, the UN refugee agency.

Of 273 people who have been processed so far, 110 have chosen to come to Britain. Before being able to come here the interpreters and their families had first to travel to a third country, typically Jordan or Syria, to apply formally for refugee status.

Some will arrive in the coming weeks, an MoD official said. The Home Office would be responsible for taking care of them, finding them housing and ensuring that they received financial help.

Months of waiting for news have taken a toll on many of the interpreters. Many live as virtual prisoners in their own homes in Basra or on the floors of relatives’ homes, terrified of being killed by militiamen if they go outside.

“I really need to start a new life,” an interpreter told The Times in an e-mail. “It will be my salvation if I get asylum in the UK, for my suffering in Iraq is endless.”

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, who was in Iraq yesterday, said that it took time to assess each application. “We have processed over 250 of them since we made the announcement of the policy to treat these people in a way I think we should and respond to the circumstances that they are in after the service that they have given us,” he told The Times.

“We are working our way through this process. It is right that we do it in a way that recognises the security challenges that there are for the individuals that are involved.”

One interpreter’s wife and two young children, forced to flee their home in Basra because of militia threats, were kidnapped outside Baghdad on Sunday. He managed to get them free but the family is traumatised.

“I say thank you to the British Government for the prize which it offered someone who served them exceptionally for the last five years,” the interpreter said bitterly. He added that all he ever wanted was for his wife and children to be safe. “My wife is now under the special care of a private doctor, while we hide in another province,” he told The Times.

Interpreters also said that the chance of a direct ticket to Britain – separate to the Gateway programme – is only available to anyone who was still working for the British in August. They must since been made redundant or been forced to quit because of exceptional circumstances.

The MoD said that 64 people so far were eligible for this help but only six were opting to go in Britain. The other 58 have asked for cash payments.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3549606.ece
 

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