The prosecutor harassed by the Taliban is finally free

At 9:30 p.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 22:37
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The prosecutor harassed by the Taliban is finally free

At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, the former Afghan prosecutor and her son landed in Barcelona, ​​from Pakistan, a month after the National Court ordered the Spanish ambassador in Islamabad to issue a visa to this refugee at high risk of danger. Tired, after 12 hours on a plane, the 30-year-old woman and her 7-year-old son have already set foot on the land that promises them to live without feeling the threat of deportation. “Thank you, thank you,” was the first thing she said when meeting the students and her teacher who persevered for a positive resolution.

“I have never been able to have a quiet life,” expressed a few days ago with the prospect of the trip, this young woman, trained in law, who accused Taliban terrorists as a prosecutor, widow of a lawyer murdered in an attack. “I just need a place where I can live in peace.”

Members of the Red Cross were already waiting for her at the terminal after the application for the asylum program was activated at the same airport through which Spain gives her a place to temporarily reside until she is awarded housing and a financial contribution while she is not working.

She barely speaks English, takes off and puts on her veil, looks at everything with curious eyes. The worries have not ended (for the Government to grant their request for asylum, learning the language of the host land, adapting to the daily life of a culture different from their own, looking for a job, a school...), but in 12 hours, which pass between one country and another at airplane speed, have brought him closer to that “quiet life” he longs for. And she, even with some signs of suspicion, begins to express that she feels safer.

For the child, everything is expectation and illusion. He wants to see the sea up close, which, living surrounded by mountains, he has never seen. Meet other children, learn. Above all, get away from the climate of unrest that prevailed in the house where he has been hidden with other refugees for the last three years, the same apartment where his 21-year-old aunt was taken away in a sudden inspection and They deported her to Afghanistan, depriving her of any hope of studying and having a life of freedom, forcing her into a marriage she does not want. “The boy, his mother told us, is very excited,” explains Maurici Pérez, professor and director of the UPF Legal Clinic, a determining factor in the legal process for this arrival to take place.

The prosecutor leaves behind 30 intense days, since she received the call from the Spanish ambassador that occurred after the communication from the National Court, to begin the visa process, until her departure from Islamabad airport on Friday morning. During this time, she went to the embassy twice, the first to take her information and fingerprints. In the second, her to collect her precious visa.

The documentation was not finished. Pakistan penalizes refugees who have lived in the country illegally with a fine ranging from 500 to 800 euros. To board, in addition to the visa and this exit permit, I needed a valid passport. Luckily, he was careful to request a temporary extension of the validity of his identification document in 2021, when the Afghan embassies were not yet under the control of the Taliban regime although it had already taken power.

“He left for the last time what had been his home in recent years on Friday morning, with a lot of nerves,” says the professor. “She was afraid that they would stop her at the last minute, despite having everything in order: ticket, passport, visa, permit.” She was afraid of getting lost at the airport, of not knowing how to get to the plane, of seeing the device rise above the ground. “She had never flown before,” Pérez clarifies. "We explained to him that when he arrived at the terminal he had to check-in, they would assign him a seat, that he would go through security control, that he could not carry liquids or anything sharp, only a small carry-on baggage." In this obstacle course, the next test was Doha (Qatar) and the change of plane.

In Barcelona, ​​the teacher and several of the students were waiting for him. He already has an identification document, a metro pass, a new cell phone. The boy delightedly accepted the gift of some articulated dolls. According to Pérez, he watched the hustle and bustle with his big black eyes and a wide smile. The UPF, which has paid for the trip, has already organized Spanish classes so that she can function minimally and work.

After decades of conflict, millions of people have fled Afghanistan due to a conflict that has taken a toll on women and girls. Some five million have registered as refugees or asylum seekers in neighboring countries alone. Others, like this prosecutor until Friday, are hidden.