Britain Opens Doors to Iraqi Interpreters

In danger if they stay in Iraq, British supporters may settle in the UK
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2007 6:10 AM CDT
United States Army helicopter gunner Daniel Brown scans the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on route from the heavily-fortified Green Zone to Baghdad International Airport, Tuesday Oct. 2, 2007. Iraq will take...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Britain will allow and aid hundreds of Iraqi interpreters and their families to relocate to the UK when British forces withdraw, reports the Times of London. Interpreters and other support staff who helped coalition forces in Iraq are often targeted by death squads; dozens have been kidnapped, tortured or killed. The announcement marks a turn-around for the government, which had insisted that Iraqi staff would not receive special treatment.

Under the new program, interpreters who have worked for at least a year will be eligible either to settle in Britain or to receive the same relocation expenses as British civil servants to move elsewhere. The US has agreed to take in 7,000 Iraqis this year, including former staff.