Not enough MPs back collective asylum for Afghan interpreters

There is not enough support in parliament to ensure a collective asylum deal for Afghans who worked as interpreters for the Dutch military in Afghanistan, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

The ruling VVD and PvdA both say cases should be looked at on an individual level. ‘Asylum is an individual right and needs to be judged individually,’ VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broeke told the paper.

Not many interpreters actually apply for asylum in the Netherlands – perhaps fewer than 10, the paper said. Most of those currently working in Kunduz, where Dutch troops are stationed, were recruited in the Netherlands itself.

Those who worked in the southern province of Uruzgan are now mainly working with the Australian armed forces who took over from the Dutch in 2010.

Last week, a group of around 20 interpreters held a demonstration at the Kunduz camp. They are said to be worried about their future when the Netherlands and Germany pull out in July. The group are officially under contract to Germany, the paper said.

In Britain, up to 600 Afghan interpreters who worked alongside British troops are to be offered a five year visa, the BBC reports.

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