BBC abandoned me to Taliban! Stranded ex-employee's fury as he fears being 'shot in head'

A FORMER BBC employee has been left abandoned in Afghanistan and has claimed the corporation refused to save him as they can only help rescue current members of staff.

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Abdullah – whose name has been changed for his security – has claimed he has been left fearing for his life following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. He claimed the Taliban has sent him death threats and raided his abandoned home.

The former BBC employee – who said his country is the “worst place in the world” to be a journalist – criticised the corporation for not helping his escape.

According to reports, he spoke to colleagues at the BBC for help but was told they did not have a plan to evacuate former staff members “at present”.

Abdullah – who is looking for evacuation to the UK with his wife and baby – said: “It is, right now, the worst place in the world to be a journalist.

“People that work with foreign media outlets are labelled as spies (working with) Westerners.

Former BBC employee abandoned in Afghanistan

Former BBC employee abandoned in Afghanistan (Image: Getty)

Former BBC employee abandoned in Afghanistan

Former BBC employee abandoned in Afghanistan (Image: Getty)

“If you came to a Taliban fighter and told them you are a journalist and you work with an international organisation I am 100 percent sure you will be directly shot in the head.

“(Even) friends from local TV networks… they keep texting me, saying they’ve even been beaten by the Taliban for just carrying a camera.”

He continued: “(They said) our priority is the current BBC staff members.

“I feel really regretful about what they replied to me… every moment is a danger, our life is at risk.

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Thousands have fled Afghanistan

Thousands have fled Afghanistan (Image: Getty)

“The BBC should do (me) a favour, should help me out from this misery… from the current calamity.

“I thought the BBC was part of my family, that’s why I worked enthusiastically with them… we gave everything to the BBC.”

Abdullah had worked for the broadcaster for at least half a decade but after leaving the BBC he presented stories on western TV channels.

The ex-BBC journalist may be eligible for the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS) as a vulnerable person.

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Afghanistan conflict timeline

Afghanistan conflict timeline (Image: Express)

However, due to his work as a journalist and being a part of the Tajik and Shia ethnic and religious minorities, he is a target for the Taliban.

He continued: “This situation is really worrying.

“I don’t know, maybe today, or tomorrow, or the next day I would be killed.

“I have a baby girl… I want her to grow up somewhere that she could learn more, she could be open-minded.”

Taliban have seized hundreds of weapons

Taliban have seized hundreds of weapons (Image: Getty)

Abdullah has called upon the Government to evacuate him with his family and others who are eligible.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC has been working around the clock with governments, the military and expert teams to find options for evacuating colleagues and their immediate families from Afghanistan.

“We have so far managed to successfully evacuate several hundred people to the UK and we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of staff and their families who currently remain in the country whilst we continue to explore all other options.

“We have every sympathy with former staff but we regret we are not in a position to extend our direct support to them.”

This came after British officials had opened talks with the Taliban about helping UK citizens and allies out of the war-torn country.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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