Ruling parties thwart calls to debate Afghan interpreter deportation

MPs from the ruling VVD and Labour parties have thwarted attempts to hold a parliamentary debate on the fate of an Afghan interpreter for the Dutch army who faces deportation, the NRC says on Wednesday.

The man lost his appeal for asylum and is to be sent back to Norway, which in turn plans to send him back to his country of origin.

Opposition parties wanted to discuss junior justice minister Fred Teeven’s refusal to give Abdhul Ghafoor Ahmadzai refugee status even though he had worked for the Dutch army in Uruzgan.

Opposition MPs and military unions say the Netherlands has a special responsibility for people who worked for the country during military missions.

Not enough

‘The simple fact that someone … worked for a Dutch mission is not sufficient’ to grant asylum, Teeven said in a briefing to MPs. Around 120 locals worked for the Dutch as interpreters in Uruzgan between 2006 and 2010.

The minister also said it is ‘unfortunate’ Ahmadzai had appeared in a BBC documentary, which contravenes Dutch defence ministry policy on protecting the identity of its local employees.

The Dutch immigration service has refused to consider his request because of the prior claim in another EU country.

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