Taliban-hounded judge prevails in legal battle against UK government

The High Court has decided that the denial of relocation to the UK for an Afghan judge who was compelled to go into hiding due to the Taliban was incorrect. The court heard that the unidentified claimant has escaped an attempted murder after taking legal action against members of the Islamic State and the Taliban. He had not collaborated with the UK in Afghanistan, according to the UK authorities, hence he was ineligible for resettlement. According to a spokesman for the UK government, authorities are “considering” the decision. It was revealed in court that the Afghan judge, along with his wife and two sick children, is currently hiding in an undisclosed third nation.

 

An adjudication in his favour states that he always faces the “risk that they may be forcibly returned to Afghanistan”. According to the claimant’s attorney, Zoe Cooley, the government has a “moral, as well as a legal, responsibility to bring our client and his family to safety”. The court’s decision does not automatically grant him relocation; however, it does require the government to reconsider his application in light of the court’s conclusions. Before it’s “too late,” Ms. Cooley urged the UK government to move “very swiftly” to bring the judge and his family to the country.

 

In order to provide individuals who worked for or with the UK government in Afghanistan with a way to relocate to the UK, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) program was established. It is directed at people who might face reprisals from the Taliban, who took back control of Afghanistan in August 2021 as a result of their ties to foreign forces taking part in the invasion. The Afghan judge who filed the High Court case initially applied to ARAP in August 2021; however, the application was denied in March 2022, and an appeals tribunal upheld the decision in May 2023. In effect, the government officials who reviewed the application decided that the applicant was ineligible since he was neither employed by or directly associated with the UK government.

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