Female members of Afghanistan’s parliament are said to have been left behind and now fear for their lives, The Times reported Wednesday.
A multinational mission to evacuate vulnerable Afghans and foreign nationals from Kabul ended this week with the last US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft flying out in the middle of the night.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated out of the country, but many vulnerable persons, from former Afghan interpreters and service members to politicians to local artists and reporters, were left behind.
Tom Newton Dunn, a political commentator for Times Radio, reported that a UK MP learned that a female Afghan MP is living in a safe house with her husband and children. Her home in Kabul was reportedly raided by the Taliban, who destroyed everything and hung her dog.
If the Taliban find her, “shooting is the best she can hope for, but they will brutalize her first,” the unnamed MP said.
In a separate discussion, Nusrat Ghani, the MP for Wealden in southeast England, told Times Radio about her discussions with an Afghan MP.
“The conversation was very emotional,” Ghani said. “She was in tears, living day by day. And I receive messages saying, ‘I’m not sure whether I’m going to survive the night.'”
“This is how desperate she is,” the MP explained. “We owe them so much debt for the work that they have done in trying to stabilize Afghanistan for 20 years, and they feel absolutely abandoned.”
Victoria Atkins, the Home Office minister, told The Times that she is “very, very conscious of the threats that so many people are facing.”
She explained to the paper that the focus of the UK’s role in the evacuation was getting out British nationals and Afghans who worked for and supported the UK mission in Afghanistan. That said, “we are very much looking at how we can help people who have supported western values,” Atkins told The Times.
The Taliban are well known for their brutality and repression of women. It is unclear what options might be available to get additional people, including female Afghan MPs, out of the country.
In the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the US, UK, and a number of other countries issued a joint statement on the situation for women and girls pressing “those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection.”