Almost 100 Former British Council Staff Still in Hiding in Afghanistan

Nearly 100 former Afghan employees of the British Council are still hiding in Afghanistan after they are refused the right to be evacuated to the UK, said the council former manager, Joseph Seaton.

Their applications remain unprocessed and without response months after they were submitted, Seaton told the Guardian Newspaper.

The staff applied to come to the UK under the government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap), set up earlier this year.

“These people are living in constant fear of their lives. They were contracted under a British government-funded scheme to teach English teachers British values of diversity, inclusion and equality, the values that … the Taliban oppose. They were always told they were employees of the British government,” he added:

In an email he sent to the prime minister soon after the fall of Kabul in September, he warned Boris Johnson: “Many of them have had the Taliban visit their homes, or the homes of their relatives, asking questions and making threats. Many of them have had to relocate, while others are living in hiding.”

“The teachers worked in public-facing, highly visible roles. Many are females, and all were representing the British Council, and promoting the language, culture and values of the UK,” he added.

He said other British Council staff – as many as 30 – that had been employed at the Kabul head office inside the British embassy had been relocated through June, July and August, but those working in the field outside the main office were excluded.

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