Priti Patel’s “hypocrisy” on Afghan judges: lawyer accuses interior minister of not having saved women

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Priti Patel’s “hypocrisy” over Afghan judges: lawyer accuses interior minister of failing to save women from Taliban after troop withdrawal

  • Lawyers say Priti Patel pledged to prioritize evacuation of vulnerable Afghans
  • But they say his words were not backed up by actions because a lawsuit was filed
  • Cases urge courts to overturn decision not to allow judges in UK










Priti Patel has been accused of “hypocrisy” after failing to grant emergency visas to 30 Afghan judges whose lives are threatened by the Taliban regime.

British lawyers who represent the judicial figures – most of whom are women – say that while the Home Secretary has pledged to prioritize the evacuation of vulnerable Afghans, her words have not been substantiated by actions.

A series of court cases will be filed from today urging UK courts to overturn a decision not to allow ‘desperate’ Afghan judges to come to the UK.

Home Secretary accused of “hypocrisy” after failing to grant visas

Attorney Maria Patsalos, of the main law firm Mishcon de Reya, said: “We are in daily contact with the judges and their messages are becoming more and more frantic.

“The government’s response is completely below what Priti Patel promised and what she said would be the case. I think the Minister of the Interior was hypocritical.

The judges’ cases were first raised with the government on September 9.

It comes as the UK government yesterday confirmed that dozens of Afghan women footballers can be relocated to the UK.

The development team of 35 members aged 13 to 19 spent weeks in a hotel in Pakistan after fleeing Kabul in September.

But many Afghan judges are being hounded and “actively hounded” by the Taliban and Isis extremists whom they have personally sent to prison, British lawyers said.

They have been offered seats on an evacuation plane to Qatar, but they need visas to show they can continue to another country.

“We have presented a test case which we believe is our strongest case, for a judge who has the strongest ties to the UK,” said Miss Patsalos, who represents the judges for free.

“If we don’t have an answer or if they ask for more time, we will ask for permission to issue a judicial review on Monday.”

“We have a lot of evidence and information about the looming threat they face because of the Taliban.

“We are going to bomb the government lawyers and be a nuisance because, quite frankly, they are themselves a nuisance by being late and also giving no indication that they are ready to help.”

Afghan women hold placards during a protest demanding better rights for women outside the former Ministry of Women's Affairs in Kabul on September 19, 2021

Afghan women hold placards during a protest demanding better rights for women outside the former Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Kabul on September 19, 2021

“The problem is, they apparently washed their hands of the situation.”

The UK government has rejected visa applications under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance program – designed for interpreters and others who have worked for UK agencies – because the judiciary does not meet strict criteria as UK employees direct.

It has also declined to consider applications under the new Afghan citizens resettlement program – intended to accommodate up to 5,000 people per year – as it has yet to be officially opened, despite the minister’s announcement. of the Interior in August.

Another separate application was rejected because applications must be filed in person at a visa application center, which judges cannot do.

A legal source close to the case said: “It is incomprehensible why the UK government will not issue these visas, given the immense risks facing the judges.

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