I won’t leave my local workers to the Taliban: Ex-Marine who now runs a charity in Kabul vows to remain until he can secure British visas for his Afghan staff
A former Royal Marine commando who runs a charity in Kabul has vowed to stay on until he can secure British visas for his Afghan staff.
Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing said he refuses to leave his local workers, who fear they will be killed by the Taliban for working with Westerners.
Mr Farthing, 52, served in Helmand and saw two of his comrades killed fighting the group who are now perilously close to the capital.
Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing said he refuses to leave his local workers, who fear they will be killed by the Taliban for working with Westerners
The former Royal Marine Commando, pictured, runs an animal welfare charity in Kabul employing local workers, who are now facing torture and death for assisting a westerner
Speaking as panic-stricken Westerners fled, the veteran spoke of his anger towards Britain and America for abandoning the Afghan people to the ‘medieval’ regime.
‘This should never have happened,’ he said. ‘The West should hang its head in shame.
‘Boris Johnson should be absolutely ashamed of what we have done. He should have pressured the Americans to do an orderly withdrawal.
‘I have a British passport and I can leave. But none of my Afghan team or the ordinary Afghan people can do that.’
Mr Farthing, originally from Essex, has spent the past decade running Nowzad, Afghanistan’s first official animal sanctuary that looks after more than 140 dogs, 60 cats, 24 donkeys and some horses. He works alongside his Norwegian wife Kaisa and their 23 local staff, who are terrified they will be targeted by the Taliban, who in the past have executed locals who have worked for Western companies.
He added: ‘There is no way I’m just going to walk out on my staff and say, “there you go, get on with it.”
Mr Farthing, originally from Essex, has spent the past decade running Nowzad, Afghanistan’s first official animal sanctuary that looks after more than 140 dogs, 60 cats, 24 donkeys and some horses
‘We’re trying desperately now with different means to see if we can help them get visas and help them get out.’
Mr Farthing was deployed in 2006 as part of 42 Commando Royal Marines and said the 454 British soldier deaths were now ‘in vain’.
His wife is leaving Afghanistan as the situation deteriorates and is particularly fearful for the couple’s female staff members, who have never had to live under Taliban control. Mrs Farthing told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The girls have heard stories from their relatives in other cities of Taliban fighters knocking on doors and asking if families have unmarried girls.
‘One girl said she will kill herself rather than marry a Taliban fighter. She has a knife ready.’
Shogufa Bayat, 21, a veterinary assistant at Nowzad, said: ‘I can’t find words to express my feeling, I’ve never experienced anything like this in all my life. My hands and legs are shaking.
Ms Bayat added: ‘I don’t know what will happen to us. The Taliban will find us and kill us.’