The S. family arrived in Kyiv on the 28th of August and were granted a transit visa of two weeks, to apply for a humanitarian visa at the Swiss embassy. Legally, the family fulfills all the criteria to apply. Nevertheless, the Swiss embassy in Kyiv has so far not given the family an appointment, although the family's legal representation in Switzerland has tried through several channels.
Their visa has expired and they will soon have no financial means anymore. The family is still separated, in legal limbo, highly vulnerable, and facing an uncertain future, including being sent back to Afghanistan.
Therefore, now more than ever, we need your support with spreading the petition, thus if the father is granted asylum, the family can be reunited. We aim to complete 3’000 signatures so that we can send the petition as soon as possible.
An: To the entire Swiss Federal Council
Rescue an afghan family from the Taliban
Deutsche Version: https://act.campax.org/petitions/afghanische-familie-von-den-taliban-retten
Version française: https://act.campax.org/petitions/sauver-une-famille-afghane-des-talibans
Versione italiana: https://act.campax.org/petitions/salvare-una-famiglia-afgana-dai-talebani
We hereby demand that the Federal Council (based on the Asylum Act, Chap. 4, Art.66) grant protection to the Afghan S. family. We urge the Federal Council to act as quickly as possible and to immediately grant the family unbureaucratic entry as refugees with protection status.
The Afghan BBC journalist Ismael S. applied for asylum in Switzerland 3 years ago. His family of 6 was still in Afghanistan and was just days ago evacuated to Kyiv by military forces and volunteers in an unprecedented effort shortly before the retirement of the allied forces. They are in great and urgent need of help. Switzerland should live up to its humanitarian responsibility and urgently allow for the reunification of the family and offer them protection.
Warum ist das wichtig?
This is the family of Ismael S., an Afghan journalist with BBC, human rights defender, and asylum seeker in Switzerland for almost three years. However, his entire family continued to live in Afghanistan in these difficult times of the Taliban's rise. His wife and children suffered greatly. Due to the acute threat to their safety, they had to change their whereabouts again and again. Mr. S.'s wife is already seriously ill. The children suffer from psychological problems, are isolated, and are severely depressed because they have been deprived of contact with children their own age for a long time and do not lead a normal life.
The family's lives are in acute danger. After the withdrawal of Western forces, the civilian population is defenseless against the extremist Taliban. The Taliban are already going door to door looking for journalists who have worked for foreign media and their families. The S. family fears retaliation because Mr. S. has stood up for Western values for so long. In addition, the family belongs to the Hazara religious and ethnic minority, which is a declared target of the Taliban. This family of six, with five women and girls, is particularly vulnerable. In Afghanistan, their rights are massively curtailed and without protection, they could be forced to become sex slaves of the Taliban or to marry or be subjected to other brutalities.
In an unprecedented effort of volunteer groups in four different countries, the family was evacuated from Kabul on August 26th because of its high vulnerability during a dangerous and long operation in coordination with the US military and Ukrainian officials. The military plane carrying the family took off, after almost 24 hours of waiting time at the entrance of the airport and the tarmac, just after the recent suicide attack at the gates of the airport. They arrived in Kyiv on the 28th of August and were granted a transit visa of two weeks, in order to apply for a humanitarian visa at the Swiss embassy there. The Swiss asylum system is very restrictive and the chances of being granted protection are slim. Therefore, after having been evacuated from Kabul the family is still separated, in a legal limbo, highly vulnerable and facing an uncertain future, including the risk of being sent back to Afghanistan.
Ismael S. has worked for 15 years for national and international media, most of the time for BBC, in Afghanistan, and has been a strong advocate for democratic values and human rights. He escaped two kidnapping attempts and received many threats from the Taliban and other extremist groups. Due to these serious threats to his life, he had to flee in November 2018 and applied for asylum in Switzerland.