Off topic: Interpreting Is Dangerous Business
Thread poster: Stephen Gagne

Stephen Gagne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 16, 2015

"A 25-year-old Afghan interpreter who protected the lives of British soldiers in Afghanistan has been refused asylum in Britain despite claims he is a target of the Taliban.

"In an interview with The Guardian, Aslam Yousaf Zai said he was forced to flee his home in Kabul after a group of Taliban extremists singled him out for working with British soldiers and warned they would murder him and harm his family. "

More:
http://www.rt.com/uk/247477-afghan-interpreter-asylum-denied/


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:02
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Petition Aug 16, 2015

A petition can be signed here. It already has almost 100,000 signatures.
https://www.change.org/p/foreign-secretary-william-hague-protect-all-afghan-interpreters-who-served-alongside-british-troops-and-give-them-opportunity-to-resettle

I am also trying to start a UK Government petition myself. Only UK citizens are authorized to sign it.
– will you sign it?


My petition:

Give asylum to all the interpreters who worked for British forces in Afghanistan

A 25-year-old Afghan interpreter who worked with British soldiers in Afghanistan has been refused asylum in Britain. He was forced to flee his home in Kabul due to Taliban threats. There are many other interpreters in this position.

http://www.rt.com/uk/247477-afghan-interpreter-asylum-denied/

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106218/sponsors/dtDZIn92XJNEmn4q2rUU


[Edited at 2015-08-16 07:10 GMT]


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:32
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
My take Aug 16, 2015

Quite aside from the human tragedy involved in this case, this issue is a much wider issue calling into question the ethicalness of the invasion of a sovereign nation by a superpower for such mundane reasons as revenge, and inflicting millions of causalities on the unfortunate nation, which then retaliates in the only way it can by resorting to terrorism, of which this unfortunate interpreter becomes a victim.

While all possible help should be extended to this interpreter, people signing the petition mentioned by Jack Doughty should do it with the full awareness that by signing it they could be acquiescing with and justifying the militarism of some nations.

I am not aware of any serious anti-Iraq/Afghan war movement in any part of the West on the lines of what we saw in the case of the Vietnam war, so there is all the more reason to be cautious in this case to not mechanically lend one's support to a possibly disreputable cause (militarism, not the providing of humanitarian aid to one of its victims). The absence of such a movement could be the real explanation behind this interpreter being used and thrown in the dust of Afghanistan like a used cartridge, instead of being provided asylum.


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 12:02
Japanese to English
Similar article Aug 16, 2015

Someone posted a similar article about French interpreters being denied asylum in France. Collaborating with the invading forces is dangerous business indeed.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:02
Hebrew to English
... Aug 16, 2015

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:
I am not aware of any serious anti-Iraq/Afghan war movement in any part of the West


Then you need to pay closer attention to "the West".
The anti-war protests in 2003 were described as "probably the largest protest march in UK history". You can't go onto the Guardian website without seeing Blair referred to as Bliar and constant calls for his trial as a war criminal. The Iraq/Afghanistan wars have tainted not only those Labour politicians involved personally, but the party itself.


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János Untener  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 13:02
Member (2010)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Interpreters Aug 16, 2015

There was a similar story on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QplQL5eAxlY


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 19:02
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Victim Aug 16, 2015

TransAfrique wrote:

Someone posted a similar article about French interpreters being denied asylum in France. Collaborating with the invading forces is dangerous business indeed.


I observed a number of situations where interpreters were victims in history. For instance, when critical diplomatic negotiation failed, interpreters were blame of "so bad quality that deteriorated the conditions."
Interpreters work behind the scene and just only co-workers can protect their rights fairly. I cannot anticipate another movement of people in other disciplines to help us at all.

Soonthon L.


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Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The West rose up in protest Aug 16, 2015

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

I am not aware of any serious anti-Iraq/Afghan war movement in any part of the West on the lines of what we saw in the case of the Vietnam war...


"The February 15, 2003 anti-war protest was a coordinated day of protests across the world in which people in more than 600 cities expressed opposition to the imminent Iraq War. It was part of a series of protests and political events that had begun in 2002 and continued as the war took place. Social movement researchers have described the 15 February protest as "the largest protest event in human history."

Sources vary in their estimations of the number of participants involved. According to BBC News, between six and eleven million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million.

Some of the largest protests took place in Europe. The protest in Rome involved around three million people, and is listed in the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest anti-war rally in history. Madrid hosted the second largest rally with more than 1½ million people protesting the invasion of Iraq; Mainland China was the only major region not to see any protests on that day, but small demonstrations, attended mainly by foreign students, were seen later."

Wikipedia "February 15, 2003 anti-war protest"

I was in the street protesting with the rest of the West.

[Edited at 2015-08-16 21:02 GMT]


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