Jump to content

 

BankFodder BankFodder


style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2409 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

Ok, i guess there are a lot of opinions on this one..., and i need to be really careful with confidentiality issues.

 

Any advice for Iraqi interpreters who served alongside UK forces on patrol, and prisons in gulf campaigns, ? These are the guys who came to the UK as part of the gateway program at the close of the last gulf war.

 

They are not eligible for assistance from organisations such as combat stress, military veterans association, SSAFA, or any organisations that require a service number (as these guys were employed by, rather than members of, British UK armed forces)

 

British Legion, to their credit, are taking a discretionary case by case stance, and are providing some assistance in certain cases, but aside from the legion there is no help.

 

Bearing in mind that these are the guys who had to wear balaclavas every day to protect their identities, and had code names such as 'Bob', or 'Dave' to prevent them meeting the same fate as other Interpreters who's dismembered bodies were very often pulled out of bins, and found in side streets around Iraq at the hands of the militia.

 

Forbes.com reported recently that upward of 1000 interpreters were killed in the line of 'duty'.

 

In nearly all cases i have dealt with, the regiments these guys were connected to have acknowledged that the interpreters fought shoulder to shoulder with them, and in some cases regiments have even donated individual regimental funds to their cause....

 

These guys were not back room admin staff, they were at the pointed end of war.

 

So why does the apparatus set up to assist ex forces personnel in the UK deny these guys welfare/mental health/medical assistance ?

 

Any advice anyone ?


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What sort of specific assistance are you looking into?

 

You've answered your own question about why Service and ex-service organisations can't help. Bear in mind that many thousands of UK contractors who deployed alongside the forces get no special assistance either.

 

I suspect that another reason is that the resources of many of the organisations are finding it difficult to cope with the numbers of entitled people, and it's not likely to improve anytime soon, especially in the area of mental health.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks for the reply

 

Anything at all really to be blunt. The legion are even confused by the issue, and they have the same stance as myself, and have requested direction from MOD on the issue (although as you know the MOD can be as glacial with their decision making process as DWP at times.

 

If i were to prioritise i would be asking for assistance with mental health (combat related), and housing issues.

 

I'm working on the assumption that the armed forces covenant will be a little more elastic than "if you don't have a number you aren't coming in" stance


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Prouty99

 

My first port of call so to speak on that issue for advice would be try the Veterans Agency email: veterans.help@spva.gsi.gov.uk or tel: Freephone 0800 169 22 77


How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no doubt they were paid rather well by the armed forces for their services while being interpreters,

i see them as private contractors, or mercenary soldiers, nothing more

 

it is up to the armed forces to provide their own linguistic translators, or sub contract

 

if the UK and America is saying Iraq has a democratic government and is safe, why do they not return back to their native country, or is Iraq just another forgotten conflict still on a combat footing, its just we are not being told any different??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too sure about being paid rather well, around the equivalent of 50p a day at the start, and for a five year veteran that rises to around £400 a month or thereabouts. (That's if you live that long, which most didn't)

 

Around 100 a year came to the UK with special Visa's between 2007 and 2010 as part of the gateway program. Support from the UK program lasted 12 months, then they were left to fend for themselves on benefits.

 

As i said earlier, i need to be careful of the wording here, but as an example i am aware of a case where one was given permission to return to Iraq for compassionate reasons, and returned 2 weeks later in 2013 having spent the time in hiding, travelling around the south in the boot of a car, as relatives with no connection to the UK forces were still being killed by the militia due to the individual's past service with UK forces from 2003 to 2007.

 

The south of Iraq is neither safe, nor stable, with even elements of Iranian militia flooding the region, as Iranian religious leaders are forming pacts with southern Iraqi goveners in the area. Large billboards with Iranian religious figures shaking hands with Iraqi local leaders are present around Basra, and the south as we speak, it is truly the wild west, and because we are told by the MOD that it may be stable doesn't make it so.

 

The reason for the program is that if the interpreters return they we be killed, simple as. The militias see them as collaborators, and traitors. Gateway is akin to a military based witness protection program.

 

For further info on these brave, but forgotten men & women i have included some links;

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15462194

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8029631.stm

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/11/veterans-day-time-remember-iraqi-interpreters

 

These people believed they were doing what was morally right in helping UK forces, and risked their lives to assist...,It sure as hell wasn't for the money. Not many would go on patrol kicking in doors with UK forces in southern Basra without a firearm for 50p a day having given up their former careers in Iraq to do just that. Now as a result of that assistance they can never go home, and watch as their friends and close relatives in Iraq are picked off by militia just for having an association with the individual who is now sat in a damp flat in Glasgow on jobseekers allowance.

 

Puts it into perspective doesn't it?


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree in what you are saying. we all know Iraq is still a war zone with areas controlled by various militia.

 

Did we really win the war, i think not.

 

when was the last time any news reports were in the national press on Iraq. Iraq is fast becoming the forgotten war like Korea. I agree these people risked life and limb and should be looked after to a degree. but they are Iraq nationals and should be back in their own country.

 

But the British or american governments would never admit to iraq being a war zone after all these years, that would be to admit failure.

 

but as usual, it is the civilians that suffer, be them combatants, or not

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the place was safe to return to, free from assassination squads, then i am sure the interpreters would be at the airport awaiting the first plane, and i would be happy to organise that

 

But it just isn't the case.

 

I have lost count of the times i have heard the same comment from these people "What Iraq needs is a good Saddam"

 

it was a horrible regime, but it was stable, the electricity worked, and you knew who your enemy was (Saddam). Since Saddam went there are multiple factions, militias from Iran, warring tribal chiefs, you cannot trust your neighbour, and you get 3 hours electricity a day (sometimes).

 

Rather than go off topic here with political stuff, the point is that the round journey i eluded to was funded by the British Legion, but they are the only organisation i have spoken to who will make a discretionary decision. Every other armed forces related welfare organization i have spoken to in the UK have stuck to the party line of "no service number, no assistance".

 

This is why i have chosen to tackle the problem at source, through being heavily involved in the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant, and have got Iraqi interpreters on to the steering groups within local government. I would rather have Interpreters involved in the implementation of the covenant than have them fall through the cracks of someone else's decision making process.


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is common knowledge that we went into Iraq on a false premise, with poor kit and with no exit strategy. It took considerable pressure to get the govt of the day to allow terps to come to the UK, which was the right thing to do. However, I don't think that entitles them to be treated as members of the armed forces.

 

The increasing number of serving soldiers and young veterans presenting with mental health issues is a matter of great concern - I know because it is an area in which I am involved. The existing services are struggling to cope, whether funded by MOD, the NHS or charities. That is covenant business - with respect, I do not think that LECs fit into it at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The case i eluded to earlier was the only survivor of a group of 19 "terps" connected to the same regiment. This individual was in charge of the 18 who died on the same day who didn't take advice about varying routine travelling arrangements. and as a result were in a IED attack. The regiment the individual was connected to lost less men in the entire conflict, and the surviving "terp" had longer service with the regiment than a good number of the service personnel did with the regiment.

 

They had service numbers, the individual didn't.

 

They get assistance, the individual doesn't.

 

The covenant is designed to allow military personnel to suffer no detriment, and to be afforded the right to priority consideration based on their service, and sacrifices to the UK...., the individual doesn't.

 

I get that personnel need assistance, and rightly so which i fully support, but for the sake of a number someone gets left in the cold ? Is this individual any less brave than the personnel the individual served alongside ?

 

Apologies to be going off on one, i don't mean to be, and i don't mean any disrespect its just that i am a 20 year veteran of trade unionist policy, and natural justice is something that is hard wired into my personality


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are answering your own question - the Covenant is designed to ensure that UK military personnel suffer no detriment. Terps aren't members of the UK military, so the Covenant isn't applicable to them.

 

It's not just about a service number; service in the military is about much more than that. Iraqi terps were Locally Employed Civilians (LEC), taken on to provide a specific function in their own country.

 

 

 

The UK government doesn't offer Covenant support to UK-based contractors who have deployed on operations. I can assure you, from personal experience, that incoming rockets and mortars do not discriminate. It's a myth that contractors are paid pop star wages, incidentally.

 

We could also look at the many civilians employed by MoD, directly and indirectly, in Northern Ireland; they remain under significant threat but this does not entitle them to any special support under the Covenant.

 

Your post does raise an interesting question, though: - what is the UK trades union movement doing, in the interest of natural justice, for the Iraqi terps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt that the many civilians employed by the MOD, directly, and indirectly in Northern Ireland turn up in any significant quantities in small pieces scattered around the emerald isle on a daily basis due to their work.

 

The trade union isn't involved by the way


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I doubt that the many civilians employed by the MOD, directly, and indirectly in Northern Ireland turn up in any significant quantities in small pieces scattered around the emerald isle on a daily basis due to their work.

 

 

History clearly isn't your strong point. Anyone working for MoD in NI has been, and is, at significant risk.

 

You might also consider the numbers of civilian RUC and PSNI personnel killed and injured.

 

I didn't ask whether the trade union was involved in this case; I am interested to know what the trades unions generally are doing - or do they only work for the benefit of their members?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could I just ask what documentation the Iraqi Interpereter signed at the time and do they have copies?


How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest Stu, i haven't looked at the contractual angle as yet (I guess that is what you are driving at), i was looking more at the angle of having a hand in formulating the community covenant to cover these guys at the minute, it hasn't come to the point of playing legal hardball, and i doubt it will or even if i, or the interpreters want it to. I think we can resolve the situation through negotiation, as the higher management of the Legion are with me on this point, So i will keep cag informed as the negotiations proceed.

 

At the minute it seems that the covenant is non uniform, as different authorities are rolling it out as they see fit, and at the moment the authority i am working with are open to the idea of both Iraqi, and Afghan interpreters being included under the covenant (vindication of the British Legion opinion on the matter)

 

I at first had similar reservations about the role of the interpreters as Mr ScarletPimpernel, although once i had gone through the array of military recommendations/documentation from both US and UK military commanders, and the many hundreds of messages, and letters of support from multiple regimental committees (including cash donations), i started to see the interpreters in a different light. All the regimental committees i have spoken to so far are of the opinion that these guys are brothers in arms.

 

First off the block were the Highland Regiment who were the first in the UK to send letters of support, and the regimental committee sent donations from the regiment to support the 'Terps' in my area. I trust their judgement, and applaud them for their stance.

 

On a different note, and i apologize to the cag moderators in advance...,

 

As for the previous question regarding the role of trade unions in general, i can only speak for my own history within the trade union movement, and have found that within the trade union movement everyone is treated as an equal, and afforded the same support. In fact if i negotiate a redundancy deal in a company with a thousand employees, but only 500 trade union members, the whole thousand get the same redundancy payment (Including non members).

 

The right to representation as an example was fought for by trade unions, but benefit members and non members alike.

 

Within the trade union membership i don't recall any Gurkha type struggles over equal treatment either, everyone has the same rights.

 

It would seem that my grip on history has been underestimated.


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be the headquarters of the trade unions are unaware of this situation. If they were then they can pass it down to individual branches to drum up support and awareness

 

I am a senior branch official for a national trade union and this has never passed my desk, or have i noticed it in any media outlets. The same goes for the general public i would think

 

This seems to be a communication issue, nothing more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply Squaddie

 

The trade union isn't involved in this issue, although i have a long history with a national trade union i have since moved into a new sector but keep close trade union ties, (as you will have gathered from the cag employment sub forum)

 

As you observed, this is all about a communication issue. Unless an issue is highlighted then the people who have the power to change policy are unaware of it.

 

Hence the reason i brought up the subject to start with. I'm sure the union would help on this issue, (as they do have a mighty powerful publicity apparatus), although i am confident i can resolve the issue at source without their intervention at the moment.


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a dedicated Facebook page on this

 

Social networking might be the answer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I think It would be useful to see the contractual side of the arrangement between the MOD and the Interperters minus personal info

 

as it would be difficult to see an avenue to tackle this without what arrangments were in place at that time.


How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The parallel with the union I was getting at is that if an individual non-member approaches them for help, the union will turn them down because they are not a member. In the same way, the covenant doesn't apply to terps because they were never members of the armed forces.

 

The Gurkhas, on the other hand, are members of the armed forces, which is why it is right that the covenenant applies.

 

I don't think contracts will be helpful; as I recall, we provided only emergency medical treatment to LECs in Iraq (as in Afghanistan) - there was certainly no provision for mental health, for example.

 

A friend of mine was heavily involved in the campaign to get terps the right to come here, and he is clear that it was never envisaged that terps would be treated the same as members of the armed forces.

 

Exactly what help is it that you are seeking to get?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the latest news update from BBC News "Afghan Interpereters to get right to live in UK"

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22620207

 

Afghan interpreters to get right to live in UK

 

Up to 600 Afghan interpreters who worked alongside British troops are to be given the right to live in the UK.

 

The plan marks a climbdown from ministers who had decided they should not get the same UK resettlement rights as interpreters in the Iraq conflict.

 

A five-year visa will be offered initially to those who worked on the front line for a year or more - covering around half of interpreters.

 

One of them told the BBC they had "risked everything" to do the job.

 

A Downing Street source said the proposals would give interpreters a choice either to go on working in Afghanistan or "make a new start in Britain".

 

Death threats

 

The coalition had appeared split on the issue, with some fearing a blanket right to come to the UK could be taken as a sign of a lack of faith in Afghanistan's future after Western forces left, according to the BBC's defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that he was "not content with the idea" of refusing interpreters permission to come to the UK.

 

"I think we have a duty of care to these people," he added.

 

A lawyer for three of the interpreters, who had already issued a High Court claim for a judicial review of the government's previous decision, said they still faced death threats from the Taliban.

 

Rosa Curling praised the decision "to recognise their bravery and to make sure that their lives are now kept safe".

 

"These are men who have been on the front line with our troops, risking their lives, involved in frontline battle, so we're delighted that the government has finally seen sense and decided to provide them with the assistance that they provided to the Iraqi interpreters," she told BBC Radio 5 live.

 

One interpreter, "Abdul", told the BBC: "We risked everything to do this job. We are glad that the British government has recognised our service and the sacrifices we made for them."

 

The Downing Street source said Prime Minister David Cameron had been "very clear that we should not turn our backs on those who have trod the same path as our soldiers in Helmand, consistently putting their lives at risk to help our troops achieve their mission".

 

"We should recognise the service given by those who have regularly put themselves in real danger while working for us," the source added.

 

But campaign group Avaaz, which is behind an 83,000 signature petition calling for all Afghan interpreters to be given asylum, said the plan was "too limited".

 

It claimed to have seen documents suggesting the scheme would only be open to those who had been made redundant on or after 1 January 2013, although Downing Street said it was more likely decisions would be made on a "case-by-case basis".

 

Earlier this month, the prime minister had said the UK should encourage "talented Afghans to stay in their country", including a "really generous" package of support for interpreters.

 

Labour's Yvette Cooper welcomed what she called the government's "u-turn", saying it was the "right policy" for those who risked their lives.

 

Training and education

 

Many of the interpreters who will be helped say they have received serious threats to their lives, while some have already fled to the UK to claim asylum.

 

"One of my colleagues was captured, held for months and killed by the Taliban. They returned his body to his family in exchange for ransom," Said Ahmad Shah Angar told the BBC.

 

Mr Angar - who worked alongside British forces at Camp Bastion - said he had grenades thrown at his house and had to leave the job because the Taliban threatened to kill him.

 

Under the plans, which are expected to be signed off at the end of May, those allowed into the UK on a five-year visa will then be able to apply for indefinite leave.

 

The Border Agency will approve how many close family members they are allowed to bring.

 

Interpreters who choose to stay in Afghanistan will be allowed to sign up for fully-funded training and education for five years, or instead be paid at their current rate for a further 18 months.

 

Under the new plan, some other locals who had helped British soldiers in non-front-line roles, such as cooks and security guards, will also be given the choice of training and education, or further payments.

 

After the Iraq war, Britain gave Iraqi interpreters either one-off financial assistance or exceptional indefinite leave to remain in the UK with help to relocate, or the opportunity to resettle through the UK's Gateway programme run in partnership with the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees.


How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting stuff

was listening to the beeb earlier. an interp saying afghan english speakers pretty much had not much choice but to do it in the circs as no other work, and as needed to feed the family, and the pay (700$/mth) is good. but, the obvious related threats/deaths risk were and still are real.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an update to the case i mentioned at the start of this thread.....

 

After meeting number 2 of the local authority Armed forces covenant steering group, the 'terp' i am campaigning for has now received official 'veteran' status, and has now been accepted by British Legion, Veterans Council, and MVIAPT service, amongst a few others...,Civvy street being one of them, and is currently receiving ongoing support from all of them for housing, mental health, welfare, etc

 

He has also been escalated from the lowest local authority housing banding, to band 1 priority based solely on his 'veteran' status.

 

As far as i'm aware he is the only Iraqi 'terp' in the UK to be recognised as a veteran under the covenant (even though that may only be at local authority level at this stage).

 

All this backup, and he was still refused for an application for an armed forces discount card, and also for a veterans lapel badge, both refusals were taken after the organisations issuing these items asked for guidance from MOD (who declined based on his non-veteran status)

 

How can a person be accepted with open arms as a veteran by MVIAPT, British Legion, Live-At-Ease, Civvy Street, and Local authority armed forces covenant steering group (populated by Colonels, Wing Commanders, Mayors, and MP's ), yet not be recognised as a veteran by MOD ?

 

I think this is due to the fact that they don't want to create a precedent for the rest of the 'terps' be they Iraqi, or Afghan.


If you cannot take on a problem head on, go around the sides, over the top, or underneath. If you still have problems, then change the rules. If you can't change the rules then manipulate yourself into a position where you make the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen this reported by the RBL, or anywhere else - which local authority?

 

I imagine that the reason this individual has been refused a veteran's discount card and badge is because he hasn't served in the armed forces, so doesn't qualify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet a prat of a politician can get a medal for visiting an area of conflict? if so beggers belief? and then some.


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...