Articles

Helping Afghan poets at risk

Many people have been shocked by the sudden deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan and concerned for the wellbeing of the people there. The Poetry Translation Centre has worked with many Afghan poets and translators over the years, and we want to do everything we can to help those who are now in imminent danger due to the withdrawal of Western forces.

Poets, writers and scholars play an important, and highly visible, role in Afghan society. Over the last twenty years, many of the country’s most important and best-loved poets have stood up for human rights and worked bravely to rebuild their country. Now the same writers are living in hiding, fearful of reprisals from the Taliban.

The PTC has received a list of 98 writers and other high-risk figures drawn up by people on the ground in Kabul. These writers' details are now with the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and awaiting consideration for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme.

If you are a UK resident, you can help us to keep up the pressure on decision-makers in the UK government by writing to your MP, letting them know that this issue is important to you and asking them to take urgent action.

You can find the contact details for your MP using this website.

Here you can download a template letter to your MP that you can personalise and send.