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Afghan interpreters lose challenge to UK court ruling

Afghan interpreters lose challenge to UK court ruling

May 09, 2016 - 18:21

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Two ex-translators with British forces in Afghanistaninfo-icon have lost their challenge to a High Court ruling that the UK government assistance scheme open to them is lawful.

In their appeal, the interpreters had claimed it was unfair because, with certain exceptions, the assistance scheme was not available to staff who left British employment before December 2012.

The applicants claimed they were being discriminated against and treated differently from their Iraqi counterparts, who were all given assistance when their lives were endangered by their work with British forces in Iraq.

But Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice David Richards and Sir Colin Rimer threw out their case and refused permission for appeal to the Supreme Court, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The Afghans prayed scheme should cover ''locally engaged staff'' employed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in Afghanistan before the 2012.

The "territorial reach" of the Equality Act was not such "as to include the claimants' circumstances" and there was no discrimination on the basis of nationality, the High Court ruled.

In their ruling, the appeal judges said the High Court's decision to do no more than grant declaratory relief was an exercise of its discretion that could not be faulted.

One of the men applicants was quoted as saying: "We are disappointed by today's judgment, and we hope to be granted permission to appeal…We must be allowed to live in safety, free of threats from the Talibaninfo-icon and now the Islamic State."

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud


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