Amir* has pulled his children out of school as he fears they’ll be targeted because of his work with Australia. Constantly moving homes and changing his appearance, he tries to protect himself from those who may want to harm him because he was seen as someone who has assisted the West. Everybody is concerned in our country – especially those people that are working with the foreigners,” he told SBS News.
Maybe tomorrow, one week, maybe after one year, the Taliban will come.
The 36-year-old has worked as a security guard at Australia’s embassy in Kabul for more than a decade.
But he is one of the 100 local staff who became unemployed on Friday when the embassy closed indefinitely for security reasons, as international troops withdrew from the country. Another is Habib*, hoping to move his young family out of Afghanistan as soon as possible because of his work.
He told SBS News that they would kill us very quickly, the people working with the foreigners,he told SBS News.
“”e are not sure every minute what will happen in our country. If we can, we should move our family from here to any other country immediately because if they [the Taliban] get us, they will kill us directly.””Amir has worked alongside Australian diplomats for ten years.
A sudden policy change
When the Australian government announced the eembassy’sclosure on Tuesday, some of the security guards received an email from the Department of Foreign Affairs saying they would “”ot be eligible for resettlement””as they worked “”s an employee of a private security company””
But late on Thursday night, following inquiries by SBS News, this policy changed.
The guards received a revised email from the department, which removed the ineligibility criteria and said, “”ecurity staff can also apply for the Locally Engaged Staff Humanitarian Visa”” DFAT has not responded to questions from SBS News about the policy change.