5 Oct 2021

Afghans hope for action while awaiting court hearing

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 5 October 2021
A scene from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

Photo: Unsplash/ Mohammad Rahmani

Afghans with connections to New Zealand are pinning their hopes on a government change of heart as they wait for a judicial review into their case next month. 

In August, Community Law Waikato launched legal proceedings for 70 clients, all of whom have family in New Zealand and are in danger because they, or someone close to them, helped the New Zealand Defence Force, or they are single women at risk. 

But there are grave fears for the group as they wait for their November court date; one of the 70 has been killed - it is believed by the Taliban - while trying to flee the country, there are fears for the whereabouts of two others in the group, and those who have remained in Afghanistan are receiving targeted home visits from the Taliban. 

Community Law is taking court action against the Minister of Immigration and MBIE, essentially for inaction in processing residency visas, which have been stalled for at least 18 months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The case is due to be heard in Wellington on November 3rd and 4th, but it's hoped the government may choose to take action sooner. 

Kathryn speaks with Sue Moroney the chief executive of Community Law, and "Mina", whose cousin is in Afghanistan and has been waiting years for her visa to be issued by Immigration New Zealand, and now fears for her life under Taliban rule.

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