A group of 8 Afghan journalists who worked for the BBC in Afghanistan have a won a legal battle in against the British government to reconsider their relocation cases.
The journalists successfully argued in the British High Court that their work for the BBC had put them, and their families are high risk of Taliban reprisal. But British government had rejected their applications for not being eligible for relocation in the UK under its Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme.
The ARAP scheme, launched in April 2021, the British government says, “is for Afghan citizens who worked for or with the UK Government in Afghanistan in exposed or meaningful roles and may include an offer of relocation to the UK for those deemed eligible by the Ministry of Defence and who are deemed suitable for relocation by the Home Office.”
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The High Court ruled that the British government had “betrayed the debt of gratitude” owed to them and that the perception of the BBC as part of the British government was “clearly relevant” to the risks they faced.
The decision on whether to relocate the journalists will now have to be taken again within three weeks.
Since its return to power, the Taliban has imposed severe restrictions on the media and has often persecuted journalists for reporting it disaproves.