One Man Left Behind- Epic Fail for US (Warning graphic)
Sakhidad Afghan was an interpreter for American Military- Marines and Air Force – in Afghanistan since 2008. After applying for a U.S. visa under a program for at-risk interpreters, he languished on the list for 4 years. He never got his visa, because the Taliban kidnapped him at a bazaar this spring. He was tortured and killed. Sakhidad is one man left behind. And he is not alone.
“According to [the ANA’s] information, the Taliban captured Sakhidad from a bazaar in Farah…From a trailer truck they tortured for awhile, then killed him. He introduced himself as Abdul Hamid, but that couldn’t save his life.” Arif Rahmani, member of Afghanistan Parliament
Epic fail for the SIV program
The Special Immigrant Visa program that was intended to help interpreters who assist the military leaves them in political limbo for years. It also leaves them in extreme peril, not only in Afghanistan but in Iraq as well. These men have formed an association called the Association of Left Behind Afghan Interpreters because their lives are at risk on a daily basis. And time is running out for many of them.
“Taliban killed Afghan by chasing him. I am sure they are tracking me too and they will kill me also one day.” Anonymous interpreter who has been on the “list” since 2011.
One man left behind
Sakhidad worked with the US Marines in Marjah in 2010. According to the Managing Editor of the Free Beacon, he always said he wanted to become a Marine. In 2011, he ran in the US Marine Corps Marathon at Camp Leatherneck, and finished in under 4 hours and 50 minutes. Those who worked with him said he was as brave as any Marine.
Later he moved to the US Air Force, but still wore parts of clothing from his Marine Corps assignment. The Marines were in his heart…
“I am deeply afraid of the current situation 2014…If I go to the U.S.A I think I will be safe. Right now it looks like, the disaster is coming in the country… I was always loyal to U.S.A and never betray its mission. I am absolutely sure that I have deserved an approved visa for United States.” Sakhidad, July 9, 2014 email
The visa process for these men who help our fighting forces is too slow. According to advocacy groups, it is likely that more of the interpreters have been murdered, but learning of their fate is difficult.
These are men who helped us – and they as well as their families are in extreme danger. We are leaving them behind. Our nation must honor our word – that we will protect and help them. An organization called “No One Left Behind” has been working to help Iraqi and Afghani interpreters obtain their visas. But when the wheels of the immigration service are so slow, the danger is overwhelming. Sakhidad paid a horrible price for the long wait.