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Asia-Pacific

Afghan ex-interpreters lobby for visas to France

media Afghans protest on Sunday in Paris AFP

The French government has failed to deliver on a promise to reexamine the visa applications of dozens of Afghans who worked with the French military and claim they face danger at home, their representatives claimed at a protest on Sunday.

About 25 Afghans who worked with the French military during the Nato intervention against the Taliban demonstrated outside the defence ministry on Sunday to demand their and their visa applications be reconsidered, as the government promised in February.

A government memo to the Council of State on 1 February promised to look into the cases "in the coming weeks" for humanitarian reasons but nothing has happened since, according to the organisation the former military auxiliaries have set up with the help of lawyers.

Visas have already been granted to 173 Afghans who worked with the French army in 2013 and 2015.

But 152 of the 252 applications made in 2015 were turned down, leading about 30 to appeal to a court in Nantes, which ruled against them.

Nine of them then appealed to the Council of State, France's highest court.

It called for six of those cases to be reexamined.

Many of the former interpreters say their lives have been threatened by the Taliban.

"We have been given promises for eight months but nothing happens," lawyer Caroline Decroix told the AFP news ageency. "There's a complete logjam in this case."

 

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