After Uproar, Britain Reviews Asylum Policy

Iraqi interpreters left for dead may win refugee status
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2007 6:55 AM CDT
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets British Chancellor Gordon Brown, left, in Baghdad, Iraq, during a visit to the region, Monday, June 11, 2007. Prime minister-in-waiting Brown flew into Baghdad...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A row over the fate of 91 Iraqi interpreters working for the British military took a new turn today, with the government promising to reexamine its refusal to grant them asylum. The Times of London, which broke the story on Tuesday, now reports that Gordon Brown has ordered a review of its asylum policy towards Iraqi translators, some of whom have faced torture and kidnapping for their alleged collaboration.

Anger erupted throughout Westminster and the military establishment when the Times reported that Iraqi translators who had risked their lives for the British military were abandoned. But Defense Secretary Des Browne said in an interview this morning that the interpreters may be granted special permission to reside in the UK, although no new action would be taken until the fall.