Local interpreters who worked for the Netherlands in Afghanistan have received letters from the Taliban ordering them to appear before a tribunal and threatening their families, the public Dutch television channel NOS reported on Friday.
The interpreters are in hiding but family members could be held responsible for their actions if they fail to appear before the court and could be “severely punished to give a lesson to other traitors,” according to one of the letters, which was shown by NOS.
That letter was sent to a man who worked for the Europol mission in Afghanistan. He is suspected of working as an interpreter for foreigners and receiving “their dishonouring and prohibited money.”
“We are going to take revenge. If we do not catch you, we’ll settle that with your close relatives,” another letter stated, accusing the interpreter of being responsible for the death of Taliban combatants.
All indications are that the letters, which bore official stamps, were indeed sent by the Taliban, NOS commented, stating that it was, however, impossible to verify this with the group.
The TV channel said it was in touch with about a dozen persons who had worked for the Netherlands and who said their situation was becoming more and more dramatic.
In June, the Taliban had called on Afghan interpreters working with the international forces to “repent” but to remain in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the Western troops, assuring them that they faced no danger from them.
Just after they took over, the Taliban declared a general amnesty for all Afghan government officials or military. However, despite promises by the insurgents not to seek vengeance, they have been tracking down people who worked for the foreign forces, according to a confidential report by the United Nations.
The Brussels Times