Barrister urges Prime Minister to resettle 200 Afghan Christians under 'death threat'

Cambridge barrister Paul Diamond is urging the Prime Minister to resettle 200 Afghan Christians

Cambridge barrister Paul Diamond is urging the Prime Minister to resettle 200 Christians in Afghanistan who are under "death threat". - Credit: WWW.PAULDIAMOND.COM

A Cambridge barrister is urging the Prime Minister to create a clear pathway for 200 Christians in Afghanistan to flee Afghanistan, and the death threat hanging over them, four months after the Taliban takeover.

Paul Diamond, who for three decades has represented persecuted and discriminated against Christians in the British and European Courts, is in contact with around 200 Afghan Christians, all converts from Islam.

He has written to the Prime Minister pleading for urgent help after they were ignored first by the British Embassy in Kabul, in August, then the Islamabad Embassy, and now, both the Home and Foreign Office.

Mr Diamond said there are an estimated 12,000 Christians in Afghanistan, and since August, the majority are in hiding after being hunted down, and dozens have been murdered.

He said throughout August he was on the phone to missionaries and individuals trying to get Christian through chaotic lines at the Hamid Khazi Airport.

The system was so shambolic, he said, that in some cases, “it was literally down to personal contacts with individual US soldiers at certain gates who would let Christians through!”

Mr Diamond says that four months have passed, but the Government is yet to reveal its ‘Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme’.

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This is despite questions raised at Prime Ministers’ Questions on Wednesday by Fiona Bruce, MP, the PM’s own Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion And Belief.

The barrister said he fears the Government will make the mistake of basing the Afghan Scheme on the previous, failed Syria one. 

He said: “Sadly, the experience of many of us who were involved in the Syrian Vulnerable Resettlement Scheme is that for people of faith, the UNHCR is the least efficient route to process those from religious backgrounds. 

"Their lack of understanding and willingness to engage with the very real needs of people of faith has led to many being left stranded in Syria, and many dying.

 “I am in daily contact with Christians in the crisis-led country, all fearful for their lives and desperate to leave. 

"What we need is a special department within the UK Scheme which recognises the unique needs of people of faith, acknowledges their vulnerabilities, and via the validation of NGOs, or churches, can process applications in a swift, but secure manner.”

“The UK owes these Christians a duty of care because the UK Armed Forces (and Allies) held and exercised control over Afghanistan where they were able to live peacefully and practice their religion. 

"After the withdraw, their lives are in daily danger. There is currently no provision in the Immigration Rules for them to apply to come here.

"So we need the UK Scheme, with a dedicated faith department announced by Christmas.  Morally we cannot abandon them!”