Former Afghan pilot pleads with the UK government not to deport him to Rwanda
A former Afghan Air Force pilot who worked with British forces in Afghanistan is facing deportation to Rwanda after his application for asylum in the UK was rejected.
He has pleaded with the UK government to grant him asylum.
According to The Independent, which has been campaigning for the pilot, he flew multiple combat missions alongside British forces. He says that he is now in danger of being killed by the Taliban because of his work with the UK.
The pilot’s application to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme was rejected on the grounds that he was not “directly employed” or “in partnership” with the UK government, armed forces or contractors.
The UK government has said that it does not accept that the pilot’s role had “resulted in a high and imminent risk of a threat to [his] life”.
The pilot’s case has been condemned by military chiefs, politicians and celebrities, who have urged the government to offer him sanctuary.
Over 55,000 people have signed The Independent’s petition calling on the UK government to reconsider its decision.
The UK government has said that it remains committed to protecting vulnerable and at-risk people fleeing Afghanistan, and that so far it has brought around 24,500 people to the UK.
However, the pilot’s case has raised questions about the government’s commitment to those who worked alongside British forces in Afghanistan.
Last month, the US government said it was considering the pilot’s case if he is refused asylum in the UK.