Afghan special forces veteran who fought alongside British troops and sought sanctuary in the UK dies after being beaten by the Taliban
- Friends said he was arrested three times, each time being beaten and tortured
- The special forces soldier died in hospital in Afghanistan from his injuries
A former Afghan special forces soldier hoping for a new life in Britain has died after being beaten by the Taliban.
The officer, part of an elite unit which fought alongside UK troops, died in hospital in Afghanistan from his injuries.
Friends said he had been arrested three times in recent weeks, and each time he was beaten and tortured.
Like hundreds of colleagues, he is said to have asked for sanctuary under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) but it is unclear if his request had been approved. His name, which the Mail is not using, was among dozens from the unit sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and ministers by British-based campaigners appealing for them to be helped.
This newspaper’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign has highlighted cases of unit members who have been tortured and murdered.
A former Afghan special forces soldier (pictured) hoping for a new life in Britain has died after being beaten by the Taliban. The officer, part of an elite unit which fought alongside UK troops, died in hospital in Afghanistan from his injuries. Friends said he had been arrested three times in recent weeks, and each time he was beaten and tortured
Because of their key role against the Taliban, many have been given sanctuary and escaped. But thousands of Afghans who worked alongside British troops are still trapped in the country amid a brutal Taliban crackdown, with their cases yet to be decided.
Today marks two years since the last RAF evacuation flight left Kabul. The Government promised to clear the backlog of cases but Afghans say they are in a ‘race against time’ to escape before they are killed.
One former interpreter waiting to hear if he qualifies for sanctuary said he had been arrested and beaten. The Mail was also told how a female ex-officer had been kidnapped and shot dead in Helmand.
Yesterday Armed Forces minister James Heappey said: ‘We have an estimated 400 eligible applicants left to relocate from Afghanistan. It is our absolute priority to continue to move eligible people and their families into the safety of third countries at best pace.
‘We will continue to work until we know that every one of those brave individuals eligible for ARAP are in the UK.’
He added that more than 12,200 Afghans – eligible people and their families – have come to the UK under ARAP.
The soldier’s name, which the Mail is not using, was among dozens from the unit sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured) and ministers by British-based campaigners appealing for them to be helped
Hundreds who qualify for relocation under a second UK scheme are still in Afghanistan, while more than 2,000 granted relocation are in hotels in Pakistan. More than 140,000 ARAP applications have been received but so far just over 3,500 have been deemed eligible, with over 70,000 refused, 32,000 of them in June and July this year.
The huge rise in rejections has led to a backlash and legal challenges. The Mail has been contacted by ex-interpreters and special forces members to say they are ‘on the way to Britain’ after paying human traffickers.
One said: ‘We have no alternative. In Afghanistan we face daily danger.’
This month the Mail told how two charities called for Britain to ‘honour its debt’ to those who ‘served our country at a time of war’.