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France promises “an exceptional effort” to welcome human rights defenders

France promises “an exceptional effort” to welcome Afghan personalities threatened for their commitment to human rights, and emphasizes being one of the only European countries which continues to grant visas from Kabul, the Elysee told Friday. ‘AFP.

“Given France’s constant support for personalities, women and men, of Afghan civil society – artists, journalists, rights defenders – who are at risk for their lives because of their commitment to freedom of expression, opinion or human rights, an exceptional effort is underway to facilitate their access to French territory ”, specifies the Elysee.

625 Afghans, employed in French structures, welcomed since May

Due to a deteriorated security situation, “France maintains the capacity to issue visas in Kabul, where only two other European countries are doing the same”, adds the French presidency.

Paris specifies having organized since May the reception of 625 Afghans employed in the French structures present in Afghanistan and likely to be threatened, and of their families.

France, which has had recourse in recent years to locally recruited civilians to help its forces and personnel deployed there, in particular interpreters, has already organized the reception of 550 people with their families between 2013 and 2015 and 800 in 2018 and 2019, specifies the Elysée.

Expulsions of Afghan migrants suspended since July

Like other European countries, France has since July suspended the expulsions of Afghan migrants who have refused their asylum applications, due to fighting between the Taliban and pro-government forces.

The Taliban launched a vast offensive against Afghan forces in early May, following operations to permanently withdraw international forces from Afghanistan, scheduled to end at the end of August. They are now at the gates of Kabul, after having captured most of the northern half of the country in a few days.


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