Afghans need our help – there must be no empty seats on New Zealand’s rescue mission | Golriz Ghahraman
History judges uninterested bystanders harshly. New Zealand must commit to saving more Afghans from the Taliban regime
What is unfolding now in Afghanistan is a moment that Afghans can’t turn away from. It will mean separated families, death, torture and sexual slavery – women, the rainbow community, journalists and human rights defenders will be most zealously targeted. At this critical moment, they have hope of rescue. But in Aotearoa New Zealand, our government is at risk of letting this hope slip away. History judges uninterested bystanders harshly. It isn’t like us to be one of those.
This week our government announced we would send a New Zealand defence force (NZDF) vessel to bring a limited category of people back from Kabul. On Thursday one of our air force Hercules planes left for Afghanistan, and I acknowledge the risks our defence force personnel are taking in this time of Covid-19 to save the lives of people who have helped us.