Interpreter on Dutch evacuation list killed yesterday in Kabul

An Afghan interpreter who worked for the Dutch on an international mission was murdered yesterday in Kabul. Thats what the mans family tells deCCeit and several sources within the Dutch government confirm they know about the murder. It is known for the first time that an interpreter on the Dutch evacuation list has been murdered.

Yesterday, according to his family, a Taliban representation knocked at the house where the interpreter was staying. โ€œThey asked for him and when he confirmed who he was, they suddenly started shooting at him with an AK-47. We lost it.โ€

Its hard to get independent confirmed whether the murder was indeed committed by the Taliban. The Dutch sources of deCCeit do assume that the interpreter has indeed died. His family points out that he was on the Dutch evacuation list and that with a lie about his death he would lose his chance of evacuation.

The man did not work directly for the Netherlands, but for the European police mission EUPOL, in which the Netherlands participated. Thats how he ended up on the Dutch evacuation list.

Shelter and harder to find

The man slept regularly in other places over the past few weeks, but that got harder and harder. โ€œYesterday he was in our parents house,โ€ says his brother. โ€œFriends and family refused him shelter even longer, because their lives would also be in danger if the Taliban knew he is staying with them.โ€

The reports confirm the fears that many interpreters and actively engaged Dutch people have expressed for a long time. It is becoming increasingly dangerous to stay in Afghanistan, they say, and also increasingly difficult to find shelters.

The man has been a bit more optimistic in recent days, says the brother who lives in India himself. โ€œThere were reports of interpreters evacuated from Kabul this week. That gave him hope again.โ€

The interpreters father would have also been shot, but he survived. The family does say that both the father and the mother are in danger and they hope that they can still be evacuated by the Netherlands. They would also be on the Dutch evacuation list, says the family.

Boy: a drama

Demissionary Minister Knapen of Foreign Affairs says in an initial response that the Netherlands has no confirmation of the murder yet. โ€œBut if so, of course, its a drama.โ€

According to Knapen, it is not possible to better protect people on the evacuation list. โ€œWe dont have an embassy there, no people on the ground. In that respect, we are fairly powerless.โ€

See the moment the news of the interpreters death became known in the Chamber:

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August. Interpreters and Afghans who have worked in other positions for the Dutch government have been hiding since, because the Taliban wants to punish them for collaborating with foreign powers.

Many of them are on a Dutch evacuation list, but they didnt manage to get them out of the country because they couldnt get to the airport in time. The Netherlands is now trying to bring them to safety through other avenues.