The testimony of an Afghan translator trapped in Kabul: “If you hear me speak in Spanish, I am a dead man”

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OKDIARIO has managed to contact Mustafa, an Afghan trapped in Kabul after the Taliban seized power. He chose to study Hispanic Philology to “get a future” but now speaking Spanish could become his death sentence. With the rise of the Taliban to power, chaos has gripped the Afghan capital. The testimonies that arrive speak of a certain tranquility in the streets but the calm that is breathed is the palpable consequence of fear.

“There are very few stores open, especially bakeries, and people don’t dare to go out on the street“Says Mustafa before asking to be taken out of the country:” It’s a matter of life and death. ” The fear and concern of this translator who has worked with the Spanish forces in Afghanistan goes over the phone. “If you hear me speak Spanish, I am a dead man.”

On the first of the calls, Mustafa was in one of the three entrances to the airport of Kabul, the only one that remains open although it is impossible to access due to the amount of people crowded. In the background, the ambient sound of chaos: beeps, screams and a lot of movement of people. Tell how it is impossible to enter to the airfield, because the Taliban already control all accesses. On the way to the airport, he found that the Taliban control all the police posts and “are patrolling the streets in police cars.”

“If you hear me speak in Spanish …”

At one point, the call drops. Minutes later, Mustafa explains that he hung up out of fear: «I’m on the street and right now I can’t talk anymore. It is dangerous. We will speak later. If they hear me speak Spanish… ». Speaking this language, which was to be the key to his future, endangers his life.

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In a second call, hours later, Mustafa is already at his house. You have given up trying to enter the airport for today. This morning, the Spanish Foreign Ministry sent you an email asking for the passport numbers yours and your family. But they have no personal contact, nor has anyone called them yet. “We have no information on whether they are going to take us out, the only thing we can do is wait,” he says before expressing his wish that “I hope” I can leave Afghanistan soon.

He has not received any official communication on the matter: “They are going to send planes and they are going to call people in turns.” Mustafa knows several of his colleagues who already live in Spain, but they left in 2014. This week, since the Taliban takeover has been precipitated, “no one” has left.

“The interpreter is like a soldier without weapons”

Mustafa is clear that Spain has to get him out of Afghanistann: «An interpreter job is like a soldier without weapons. We have gone on missions, with the Spanish patrols, talking to the people… ». Like Mustafa, translators who have worked with foreign forces know that their work has turned them into collaborators and traitors in the eyes of the Taliban. As much as the Taliban put on a friendly face on television, no one there believes it. Amnesty for embassy workers, that women will be able to work or go to school, that there will be no reprisals: “Is a lie”Mustafa confirms without hesitation.

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All those who have worked or collaborated with foreign forces at some point in the last 20 years are convinced that the amnesty they have promised is a sham and that they will be killed as soon as possible. Nobody in Afghanistan believes the speech moderate of the Taliban and they do not doubt that sooner or later the reprisals will come.

«We have worked with Spanish forces on missions and what we want, now that we are in danger, is a matter of life. You already know what we want, to save ourselves, save our life and ours family”, Mustafa implores the Spanish Government through this interview. The only thing left is to wait and temper their nerves: “In this situation it is impossible to be calm, we are worried and my family is afraid.”

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