Netherlands

Afghan families go to court for evacuation: ‘Embassy staff’s pleas ignored’ | Abroad

UpdateFour Afghan families have filed summary proceedings against the Dutch state. The family members demand that the Netherlands evacuate them from Afghanistan as soon as possible, according to their lawyer Barbara Wegelin. De Volkskrant also reports on how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ignored pleas for the evacuation of Dutch embassy employees for weeks. Of those, 170 people are still detained in Kabul.





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Things are going bad there. They are in hiding and something has to be done now

Barbara Wegelin, family lawyer

All families are on the evacuation list of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but have now heard nothing from the Dutch authorities, says Wegelin. It concerns a total of seventeen people, including ten children. Three of the four families are related to an interpreter who has worked for the Netherlands. It is also a sister of a Dutch Afghanistan veteran. “It is terribly bad there. They are in hiding and something has to be done now,” says Wegelin.

Passport

One family all has passports, the family members of the other three families do not all have them. “It’s almost impossible to get passports in Afghanistan right now,” Wegelin said. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it cannot evacuate people without a passport. But the Netherlands can do a lot of things, or at least try. It is now exactly three months after the last evacuation flight on August 26. I want to know what concrete efforts have been made to get those people out of there, because I don’t think the Netherlands is pulling out all the stops.”

At the beginning of November, the group announced that it would go to court if they did not receive an answer to their demand within two weeks. At that time it concerned a group of 240 Afghans. Some of them did receive an offer for evacuation, others did not, according to Wegelin. With the summary proceedings, the lawyer now wants to force the families to be evacuated within two weeks of the judge’s ruling. The hearing date will be announced tomorrow.

‘Supplications ignored’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also ignored pleas for evacuation from the local guards and other employees of the Dutch embassy for weeks during and after the fall of Kabul, according to correspondence between the department and the company that supplied the guards.

From that correspondence, which is in the possession of de Volkskrant, it appears that there were explicit requests from the director of the company (Asman Abi Construction, Supply and Services) to the then Minister Kaag, and also later requests to the crisis staff of Foreign Affairs.

A letter sounding the alarm about local embassy employees who were not directly contracted by the embassy was also sent to members of parliament. The letter was one of the reasons for submitting the Belhaj motion to evacuate other Afghans who had assisted the Netherlands in addition to interpreters. The motion was passed two days after the fall of Kabul, but more than 170 of the employees are still in the Afghan capital. He will be fired at the end of December.

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Afghan families go to court for evacuation: ‘Embassy staff’s pleas ignored’ | Abroad
Source link Afghan families go to court for evacuation: ‘Embassy staff’s pleas ignored’ | Abroad

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