30 Britons stuck in Afghanistan – including NHS workers and cabbies – plead for help getting them and their families to the UK and accuse the government of abandoning them to the Taliban
- Sixteen men, holding British passports, appeared in the secretly recorded video
- Spokesperson said they were a group of over 100 Brits stranded in Afghanistan
- They urged the UK government not to ‘walk away’ from its citizens, their families
- Said they felt abandoned by the UK three months after the Taliban takeover
A group of 30 Brits stranded in Afghanistan have pleaded for help getting them and their families to the UK and accused the government of abandoning them to the Taliban.
Sixteen men, many holding British passports, appeared in a secretly recorded video pleading with the UK government to evacuate citizens left behind in Afghanistan more than three months after the Taliban took power.
A spokesperson explained the group included 100 Brits and that 30 had managed to gather in Kabul to record the message on October 18.
He said: ‘We demand that the government does not walk away from its responsibilities towards its citizens and their families. We need to get back to our lives in the UK’.
The group have been stuck in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control on August 15 following a lightning offensive of the country as the final US troops withdrew after 20 years.
MailOnline has approached the Foreign Office for comment.
The spokesperson said that among the group were NHS workers, builders, plumbers, engineers, taxi drivers and one professional boxer and called on the UK government to allow them to return to their lives in Britain in a video sent to ITV.
The group asked for visa requirements to be waived for their immediate family members and slammed the government for not putting on flights from the ‘fully operational’ Kabul airport.
They said evacuation flights for US citizens were ‘taking off daily’ and questioned why the British government had ‘abandoned’ them and their families.
The message also said Pen Farthing had done a ‘better job’ at getting his cats and dogs out of the country than Westminster had done evacuating its citizens.
The spokesperson described how many of the group missed the final evacuation flights out of Kabul in late August because they were unable to reach a hotel, where they were instructed to gather, or the airport because of strict checkpoints.
Sixteen men, many holding British passports, appeared in a secretly recorded video pleading with the UK government to evacuate citizens and their families left behind in Afghanistan
Chaos engulfed Kabul airport in late August as hundreds of thousands of desperate Afghans and foreigners scrambled to board the final evacuation flights out of the country after the hardline Islamist group the Taliban swept to power.
Desperate people were seen running alongside and climbing on the wing, front and rear wheels of a US military C-17 crammed with 800 people – eight times its usual capacity – on the the first day of the evacuation.
At least two people fell to their deaths in Kabul after clinging to the outside of the plane and the remains of another stowaway – a 19-year-old football player – was found in the wheel arch when the flight landed in Qatar.
Days later the chaos continued as ISIS-K, an ISIS offshoot in Afghanistan’s Khorosan province, carried out a suicide attack at the gates to the airport, killing 170 Afghans and 13 US Marines.
Such was the desperation at the airport that women resorted to passing babies over barbed wire to soldiers in a vain attempt to get them out of the country.
Afghans desperately tried to climb onto the rear right wheel of the US Air Force C-17 in a last ditch attempt to flee the country after the Taliban swept to power
Footage published by Afghan outlet Aśvaka showed three stowaways falling to the deaths after clinging on to the wheels of a military plane as it took off from Kabul airport
Babies were thrown over barbed wire towards troops at Kabul airport in a desperate bid to get them out of the country as the west’s ignominious exit from Afghanistan continued
The video message sent by 30 Britons stuck in Afghanistan in full:
‘We are a group of more than 100 British citizens who have been stranded in Afghanistan since the UK ceased its evacuation before the deadline of August 31, 2021.
‘Some of us were asked specifically while others were simply told to go to Baring Hotel with your immediate families if you are a British citizen.
‘Unfortunately not all of us made it to the hotel given the chaos at the airport and the very strict checkpoints on the route to the Baring Hotel.
‘Thirty out of the 100 British citizens in our WhatsApp group have managed to meet up at a secret location in the outskirts of Kabul today, the 18 of October 2021.
‘We met to simply record this message in the hope that someone out there will hear a voice and take action to rescue us and our families.
‘We are not just a group of ordinary citizens, we provide public services in the UK. We are businessmen, key workers, engineers, NHS workers, builders, plumbers, taxi drivers, and we also have a professional boxer amongst us.
‘We demand that the government does not walk away from its responsibilities towards its citizens and their families.
‘It looks like Pen Farthing has done a much better job in taking responsibility for his cats and dogs than the UK government has taken for its citizens and their families left behind.
‘Although we cannot forget the enormous sacrifices men and women in uniform made to help and evacuate thousands of us to safety during Operation Pitting, we stand with them and we thank them. But the mission is not accomplished yet.
‘We are still stranded and need to get back to our lives in the UK. Please, waive all visa requirements for our immediately families and evacuate us together with our families to safety.
‘Kabul airport is now fully operational, and chartered flights are taking off daily to evacuate the US citizens. It looks like the UK has completely forgotten and abandoned us.
‘We demand the UK government that’s now arrange for chartered flights immediately for all the British citizens and their immediate family members.’
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