Home » Kabul Embassy’s Gurkha Guards Face Removal from UK
Afghanistan Central Asia Global News News

Kabul Embassy’s Gurkha Guards Face Removal from UK

A group of Nepalese security guards who were rescued from the fall of Kabul in 2021 are facing removal from the UK, 19 months later.

The 13 Nepalese military veterans – known as Gurkhas – were employed guarding the UK embassy in Kabul.

Their lawyers say their legal right to remain in the UK since their rescue has been “voided” by the Home Office.

A Home Office spokesman denied anyone with a permanent right to live in the UK had had it removed.

The men, who are Nepalese and Indian nationals aged between 37 and 60, were working for a private security firm that guarded the compound housing the UK and Canadian embassies in Kabul.

The Afghan capital fell to the Taliban in August 2021, as the government of President Ashraf Ghani collapsed and he fled the country.

Thousands of Afghans who had served alongside British military and government personnel were evacuated from Kabul amid chaotic scenes.

Removal Directions

A lawyer for some of the security guards said 10 of them were detained in handcuffs in an early morning raid on their west London hotel last week.

They had been living in the hotel and working in its kitchen, serving food to other Afghan evacuees.

They’ve since been held in immigration removal centres close to Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Removal directions for the group are scheduled to begin on Thursday 6 April.

Bam Gurung, 37, who worked for 10 years as an embassy security guard, told the BBC he had hoped to start a new life in the UK and serve in the Army.

He said: “We are very, very saddened. [For] two days I have cried with my friend, I cry with my mum.

“I would have made good life in the UK and I would have contributed to the UK government.”

‘Inhumane Treatment’

The BBC has been shown biometric residence permits for two of the men stating that they have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

This immigration status allows holders a life-long right to live, work and claim benefits.

Jamie Bell, of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said: “All were evacuated on the same flight and all of their claims were processed together. It is entirely unclear as to why there has been a difference in treatment between them.

“We have received no clarity from the Home Office as to why having evacuated these brave men, they are now being treated in an inhumane and cruel way.”

Mr Bell said the immigration status of five of the men appeared to have been settled until the surprise raid.

Eight others had been told they were ineligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status after the Home Office applied on their behalf following the Kabul rescue.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We remain committed to providing protection for vulnerable and at-risk people fleeing Afghanistan and so far have brought around 24,500 people impacted by the situation back to the UK.

“In this instance, there has been no change to the immigration status of individuals who have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and it would be incorrect to suggest this has been removed.”

Source: BBC