Afghan interpreters want asylum in NZ - report

Last updated 18:52 22/04/2012

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Afghans working with Kiwi troops in Afghanistan have asked the Defence Minister for help in seeking asylum to New Zealand, fearing they will be killed once international forces pull out of the country, according to a report.

The workers spoke to One News in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province after a meeting between an Afghan commander and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The Afghan interpreter said as soon as international forces left his future would be "very dark".

"Our faces are very familiar to most of the people. As soon as international forces leave, our future will be very, very dark and it's most likely we are going to be killed," the man said.

A group had approached the minister after the meeting asking for help.

They feared the Taleban, the Islamist militant group that control large parts of the country, would target them when international troops pull out.

Coleman could not comment on the matter but said each asylum case was considered on its merits, One News reported.

He acknowledged that some Afghans who have been working for the Defence Force would now be known to the Taleban which suggested they could have a case for asylum in New Zealand.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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