Afghan who worked as translator stuck in Kabul: ‘I need freedom. I need democracy. I am human. I need my rights.’
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — With just a few days left before the U.S. military pulls out of Afghanistan, the situation there has gotten more desperate for all those trying to leave.
News10NBC heard from one man who fears he may never make it out of his troubled homeland.
Abdul Hameed has been trying to leave Afghanistan for years now. His "Special Immigrant Visa" has been under review for four years now.
Hameed is desperately trying to leave on any plane out of Afghanistan. He says he recently spent five days at the airport in Kabul, but wasn’t there when the explosion happened killing several dozen, including at least 13 U.S. service members on Thursday. He was at his home near the airport.
"After that, we heard like many blasts, explosions, and two of them were near my house," Hameed said.
Over the years, Hameed says he’s reached out to some humanitarian resettlement groups, including some located right here in the Rochester area. Hameed also says he worked as a translator for the U.S. military during their time in Afghanistan. His prior work makes him a target for the Taliban, and he says he can’t live under their rule.
"I need freedom. I need democracy. I am human. I need my rights. I want to live by my own way. I don’t want to give my, you know my own selfless power to somebody that they’re going to use me like a remote control. I don’t want to be that," Hameed said.
Thursday, Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY 25), took time out to honor all those killed in the attack at the airport. He said the mission of evacuating Americans, and our Afghan partners need to continue right up to the Aug. 31 deadline. We asked him if he thinks the deadline should be extended.
"The August 31st deadline was agreed to by the United States government and the Taliban. So when people are suggesting that we extend the deadline, it’s a bilateral agreement between both parties, and right now the Taliban has not been willing to engage in a conversation about a military presence beyond August 31st, but more importantly, the dangers being faced by US Service Members are only going to grow," Morelle said.
Flags on all State buildings to be flown at half-staff on Friday. Morelle did tell us that his office has been collecting names of Americans still stuck in-country. He urges people to visit his office’s website where they can put in their information.