Following the explosions in Kabul overnight and the subsequent decision by the Australian Government to cease all military efforts to evacuate remaining Australian citizens and visa holders, Amnesty International Australia National Director Sam Klintworth said:
“These latest devastating developments in Kabul make it more critical than ever that the Australian Government step up its efforts to evacuate all those still trapped in Afghanistan desperate to flee the Taliban. To fail them now would be an unforgivable betrayal.
“The people of Afghanistan are looking to Australia for help and as the Australian military mission is called off for fear of further attacks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a moral obligation to urgently work with the US President, Joe Biden, and other leaders to ensure their safe passage.
“Australia has still failed to commit any additional places to its existing humanitarian intake of refugees, announcing only that 3,000 places in its existing intake will be put aside for Afghans fleeing the Taliban. This is wholly unacceptable. Other nations such as the US, Canada and the UK have offered so much more and at a minimum Australia should be offering 20,000 additional places.
“The lives of thousands of people trapped in Afghanistan are in the hands of the Australian Prime Minister, and he should do all he can to ensure these people are brought to safety.
“We implore Mr Morrison to act with the utmost urgency so Australia can be on the right side of history in this desperately tragic and escalating crisis.”
Sydney based lawyer and former Hazara refugee from Afghanistan, Sayed Hussainizada said: ”Now is the time for the Australian Government to step up, not step down”.