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A former judge in Afghanistan whose application to visit the UK was rejected says she did not leave home for six months fearing for her safety.
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talking to Granthshala From an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, Kadisa* said she only goes to the garden at night because she fears her neighbors will see her.
The 46-year-old woman, who presides over cases related to violence against women, said she feared the Taliban would kill her if they found her. She wanted to come to the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy scheme but her application was turned down.
it comes as Granthshala found out how some Afghan Those wishing to come to the UK were told by departments of the Afghan government run by the Taliban that they would need to have their documents approved since the militant group came to power in August 2021.
Qadisa, who was forced into hiding after the fall of Kabul, said: “I haven’t left the house in six months. I can’t go out in the garden during the day because I don’t want the neighbors to see. I go to the garden at night. I don’t get any daylight.
“I feel trapped. When I walk around at night, I’m scared of my shadow. I cry every day. Sometimes I look at my files and law books and my uniform and cry .
She said that about five months ago, her brother told her that the Taliban had come and “directly” asked their neighbors where she was. “I’m hiding from colleagues. I can’t trust anyone,” she said.
The former judge said her “hands were shaking” when she learned her application to visit the UK in late January had been rejected.
“I can’t accept the UK, a peaceful country with top human rights, could refuse my application. I felt like crying. Still, I’m crying. I was in shock,” she said.
An email from the Ministry of Defense, viewed by Granthshala, says Qadisa is not considered eligible for transfer under the scheme. She believed she was eligible because of her role as a judge working with British government officials and is considering appealing the decision.
Granthshala In September 2021 it was revealed that more than 200 female judges were hiding in Afghanistan, fearing they would be executed by the Taliban because of their work.
The Taliban have freed thousands of prisoners, including terrorists and senior al-Qaeda members, and experts have warned that the judges responsible for jailing many of them fear for their safety now that they are free. .
In a direct plea, she said: “I ask the UK government and all European countries to help rescue and rehabilitate the judges because there are secret killings since the Taliban came to power.”
The hardline Islamist group that previously ruled the country has barred women from the workplace, education and public places, as well as preventing them from participating in all sports since the US and British forces retreated to Kabul. Is.
Aarap is for Afghan nationals who have served with the British government and armed forces who can apply for resettlement along with their families. The Ministry of Defense decides whether people are eligible for the scheme, and the Home Office checks whether they are “fit for transfer”. Charity workers and former civil servants have previously warned that the eligibility criteria are too restrictive.
Marzia Babkarkhail, who worked as a family court judge in Afghanistan, told Granthshala Qadisa applied under the Aarap scheme as she believed Judge would be eligible.
Ms Babkarkhail, a prominent campaigner fighting for the rights of female Afghan judges, said around 50 female judges were stuck in Afghanistan, while around 19 were in Pakistan “without any future, hope or solution”.
The campaigner, who lives in the UK, said: “My message to the world is to stop the hollow sympathy and take serious action.
“Some judges tell me their teeth are breaking or falling out because of the stress. Some wear burqas when they are out to be safe. Some stay at home all day and only go out to the garden at night. Let’s go out.
* Kadisha’s name has been changed to protect her identity
Afghan judge living in fear of Taliban denied sanctuary in Britain
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