Saturday, September 25, 2021

Animal rescue in Afghanistan sparks dispute between charity and British government

LONDON-Thousands of people were evacuated from Kabul before the final withdrawal of Western troops. The attempt to rescue dozens of veterinary staff and hundreds of animals from the British Animal Rescue Charity in Afghanistan has attracted media attention and aroused fierce attention. discuss. Disputes between charities and the British government.

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Pen Farthing is the founder of the Nowzad Dogs Animal Sanctuary in Kabul. He served in the Royal Marines for 22 years and fought the Taliban in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2006.

Document-On May 1, 2012, an Afghan worker plays with dogs in Nowzad, an animal shelter on the outskirts of Kabul.

In 2007, he founded Nowzad, named after the first dog he rescued. The charity quickly expanded and hired 25 local employees, including three of the first female veterinarians in Afghanistan.

Farthing described their emotions when the Taliban occupied the capital on August 15th, “The three young women I worked for us, the first female veterans in Afghanistan’s history, were absolutely terrified. There may be revenge because, You know, obviously we are a foreign organization. We have helped soldiers rescue in the past, so soldier rescue dogs.”

“As I said, what will happen to women? Will they be forced — all of our young women are single — then will they be forced to marry some Taliban fighters and then live at home and have children? I I dare not think about it,” Faxin told Reuters.

The former Marine initially refused to leave Afghanistan without his staff and hundreds of animals in his care-he named the mission “Operation Ark.” The British media paid close attention to his career because of a dispute between the charity and the government. Fasing accused Britain of abandoning him, his staff and animals.

British Defense Minister Ben Wallace told Fasing that as a British citizen, he should board the evacuation flight by himself, and his staff and animals could be rescued in the future.

“Once the evacuation is over, I really believe that his employees-if he wants to repatriate the pets and strays he cared for-I really believe that they will be allowed to move on… the airport will open in the days to come. . But frankly, I must give priority to people over pets now,” Wallace told Sky News on August 24.

In a subsequent Twitter post, Wallace said: “The bullying, lies, and threats by some people towards our Department of Defense personnel and consultants are unacceptable and a shameful way of treating people trying to help evacuate. They treat themselves There is no benefit to his career.”

The swearing phone message sent by Farthing to Wallace’s consultant Peter Quentin was leaked to the media, in which Farthing said that if he did not arrange an evacuation, he would “destroy” Quentin. Farthing later apologized and said that he was speaking under pressure.

Thanks to the donation of American investors, Nowzad chartered its own aircraft. A few days later, the British government finally authorized the aircraft to land in the UK and approved the evacuation of 68 Nozard staff, their families and animals.

But the Taliban refused to let them pass through the airport gate because they did not have a British visa in their passports.

Dominic Dyer, a wildlife activist who has been assisting the sport in the UK, blamed the British government.

“What Pan received was a letter from Downing Street, which effectively guaranteed the entry of these 68 people. The Taliban said,’Well, we don’t care what Boris Johnson thinks. What do we care about? [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden has decided that he has no visa and no entry. And you will not come in with your people. ‘”

“This is a delay [UK] The Department of Defense obtained the flight authorization that caused the problem, because if we let people arrive at that gate three or four days in advance with the list that we need to be authorized to enter, we will not get the flight authorization to land the aircraft without meeting the buffer of the US rule change. , Which basically prevented him from letting his people pass,” Dell told VOA.

The Department of Defense did not respond to VOA’s request for comment.

Farthing chose to leave the vicinity of the airport, escorted his staff out of the airport, and returned to safety through the streets of Kabul. He directly appealed to the Taliban leaders through Twitter to allow the organization to enter the airport. On Saturday, Faxin and the rescued animals were allowed to enter the airport-but without his staff. American soldiers helped load animal crates onto the charter plane.

Fasin said he called on the British government to fill empty seats with Afghan citizens waiting to be evacuated, but was told that no one could board the plane. He and the animals arrived in England on Sunday morning.

Farthing was later reunited with his wife who had evacuated from Afghanistan to her native Norway.

With the Taliban now in full control, the fate of Nozard employees and their families remains uncertain. The 140 dogs and 60 cats evacuated from Kabul are now under quarantine in the UK. Nozard said there have been many proposals for new homes for these animals.

Part of the information in this report comes from the Associated Press and Reuters.

Animal rescue in Afghanistan sparks dispute between charity and British government
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