In the wake of the attempted coup d’état in Turkey in July 2016, many international voices have expressed concern about the ensuing repression against government opponents and intellectuals. Now our international coalition of linguists appeals for the release of prominent translator, philologist, writer and defender of freedom of expression Necmiye Alpay, imprisoned in August. Her voice should not be silenced.
Facing death at home, despairing over the delay and difficulties of obtaining visas from the countries which employed them, more and more translator/interpreters who helped allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are joining the flow of refugees into Europe. The international coalition of linguists appeals to Canada not to limit help to individual, publicised cases but to implement a policy to expedite visas to all the interpreters it left behind.
As Congress prepares the 2017 defense spending bill, the international coalition fears for the Special Immigrant Visa program which has brought some of the interpreters from Iraq and Afghanistan back to the U.S.A. for protection. With thousands of applications still pending, the life of the program must be extended. The latest Open Letter appeals to members of Congress to ensure its future and amend its most flagrant shortcomings.
Once again, the lives of interpreters are imperiled. Governments make promises which they don’t fulfill. In this case, a simple gesture towards a very few could make a great difference. The international coalition writes another letter.
The latest Open Letter goes to H.E. The President of Turkey, calling for the release of jailed interpreter Mohammed Ismael Rasool. The coalition of international translator/interpreter organisations is growing – now joined by WASLI. We speak on behalf of over one hundred thousand linguists throughout the world.
Local interpreters are left behind as ISAF Forces withdraw from Afghanistan. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs says no decisions have been taken regarding the safety of those who worked for their troops. AIIC, Red T,FIT and IAPTI write to the President on their behalf.
The Spanish newspaper El Mundo revealed that Afghan interpreters had been left at Kabul airport as Spanish troops withdrew from the country. A worldwide petition was launched to help them but no results have been seen so far. Our 'Open Letter' campaign has therefore gone into action again to urge the Spanish government to act.
Following letters to the US administration and the Swedish government, this joint letter to the Danish Prime Minister produced an immediate effect. Hardly had the letter been published than the Danish government announced a change in its policy towards Afghan interpreters who had helped their troops, opening a door to their applications for visas. We are extremely pleased that the joint pressure from AIIC, FIT, IAPTI and RED T, written at a decisive time for the debate in Denmark, seems to have been the trigger for the government's change of heart.