We owe those who helped our soldiers.
Translator abandoned by UK is executed as he tries to flee Taliban: Interpreter killed after being captured in Iran amid fears four more have suffered the same fate
At risk: Afghan interpreter Chris, centre, at work with other translators. The men’s identities have been concealed for their own safety
- The interpreter, known to UK soldiers as Popal, was tortured and murdered
- Captured in Iran after being refused help by UK investigators despite pleas
- Four others feared to have died the same way after trying to flee the group
- Sources say anyone found to have worked for Britain is tortured and killed
An Afghan military interpreter denied refuge by Britain has been executed trying to reach the West.
Known to the UK soldiers he served with as Popal, he was tortured and murdered after being captured in Iran.
Another four interpreters are feared to have suffered the same fate while using people smugglers to flee the Taliban. Their families believe the missing men may have been killed by the Iranian authorities or by militias.
‘Anyone they find who has worked for Britain or allied forces is tortured and killed, the smugglers have told us, because they are seen as Western spies,’ said a source who served with British forces alongside Popal.
‘The smugglers warn us before we begin the journey that there is a good chance we will be captured and that if that happens “you are on your own”.
‘Some Afghans who were stopped making the journey to Europe have been enrolled in the Iranian military and sent to fight in Syria. Others have been brutally questioned. If you say you have worked for the British or the Americans, then it is likely you will be killed.’
Another 23 interpreters ‘abandoned’ by Britain have successfully reached Europe, with 20 thought to be in Germany.
Popal decided to flee Kabul after repeated death threats from Taliban agents. UK investigators refused to help, claiming there was insufficient evidence that his life was at risk.
Popal, who was wounded in Helmand while serving with the Parachute Regiment, is said to have been executed near the Iranian city of Mashhad.