Afghan refugee sues Australian government saying detention prevents him saving his family from Taliban
An Afghan refugee and former member of the country’s national security directorate, who assisted coalition forces, has taken the Australian government to court seeking to be released after eight years in detention so he can organise to get his family out of a collapsing Afghanistan.
Anonymised in court documents as FGS20, the now-37-year-old arrived in Australia by boat in 2013 having fled the Taliban who had attacked him, thrown grenades into his house, and sent repeated warning letters he would be killed because of his work for the government of Afghanistan.
In an email sent to his case manager in the department of home affairs from a Melbourne hotel detention centre where he is currently held, FGS20 pleaded to be allowed to help his family amid Afghanistan’s collapsing security.
“Every day Afghanistan is getting worse. My family is in a dangerous place and I need help now please. If you wait I will lose my family. Why do you wait? The Taliban want to kill my family,” the email, read in open court, says.
“You need to find some way to move them please because I don’t want them to die. It is enough that you have kept me in detention for eight years for no reason.”
FGS20, an ethnic Tajik, was recruited to Afghanistan’s national security directorate aged 17, and worked as a driver and scout for a regional chief of intelligence. He worked alongside US forces, and included in his government file are certificates recognising his service issued by the US military.
“I was helping the coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan,” he said in an interview. “I captured Taliban fighters and jailed them. But when these people got out of jail, they tried to kill me and were shooting at my house with rocket-propelled grenades.”
“Now, my wife and children are in grave danger because of my service to the coalition,” he said, “but still the government keeps me in this detention.”