Staff of the British Embassy in Kabul left the building after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, leaving there documents containing data of Afghans working for it and CVs of applicants, as revealed in Friday’s edition of The Times.
Documents containing contact details of seven Afghans were found scattered on the ground Tuesday by a reporter from The Times who accompanied Taliban fighters as they patrolled the abandoned embassy grounds. The documents contained the name and address of a prominent employee of the Kabul Embassy, the names and contact details of other employees, CVs and addresses of applicants for translation jobs.
Calls made by The Times reporter to the numbers in these documents show that while some of these people have been evacuated to Britain in the past few days, other embassy staff members have remained at the scene. Those trapped in the crowd, who were unable to reach the airport where they could be evacuated, included three Afghan workers and eight members of their families, including five children.
According to the newspaper, the British were so surprised by the speed of the Kabul invasion that the embassy’s evacuation protocols appeared to have broken down, requiring the destruction of any data that might put Afghan workers, their families or potential employees at risk.
The Times quoted – without revealing personal details – an excerpt from a cover letter from a translator applying to join the British Embassy. As he asserts, the professional experience he mentioned – working as a translator for US forces in Helmand Province – which was supposed to be an advantage, in the face of the negligence of embassy staff, may now cost him his life.
The newspaper stated that before revealing the discovery, it contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and provided personal data, to enable it to be found and evacuated. However, he says, the fate of at least two translators applicants scattered around the embassy is still unknown.
The Times reports that the discovery of the abandoned documents came only a few days ago after it was learned that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, while on vacation, had not had a telephone conversation with his Afghan counterpart to assist in the evacuation of the British-affiliated Afghan forces and believed that this was another element that proves the unprofessional response of the British authorities to the The crisis caused by the Taliban’s seizure of power.
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