Pregnant Nowzad worker ‘stuck in hell hole camp’ after Kabul evacuation

·2-min read
Undated handout photo of Pen Farthing, founder of animal rescue charity Nowzad, who has pleaded to the British government to withdraw his staff from Kabul. Farthing, a former Royal Marine Commando, is campaigning for the government to have 71 people flown to the UK from Afghanistan after Taliban seized the city. Issue date: Monday August 16, 2021. (PA Media)
Undated handout photo of Pen Farthing, founder of animal rescue charity Nowzad, who has pleaded to the British government to withdraw his staff from Kabul. Farthing, a former Royal Marine Commando, is campaigning for the government to have 71 people flown to the UK from Afghanistan after Taliban seized the city. Issue date: Monday August 16, 2021. (PA Media)

A heavily pregnant charity worker is stranded in a “hell hole prison camp” in Germany four days after an evacuation from Kabul her boss has claimed.

Paul “Pen” Farthing, who owns Nowzad animal sanctuary, has said his 33-week pregnant manager is “terrified” and had told him there is “no system in place” at the camp, four days after boarding a flight which he said was supposed to take her to the United States.

Mr Farthing is a former Royal Marine who served in the Afghan province of Helmand in the mid-2000s.

He set up Nowzad animal sanctuary in the capital 15 years ago – which rescues dogs, cats and donkeys.

Pen Farthing, founder of animal rescue charity Nowzad (Nowzad) (PA Media)
Pen Farthing, founder of animal rescue charity Nowzad (Nowzad) (PA Media)

His pregnant manager was one of the 25 Nowzad staff members he said he would not leave the country without, along with their dependents and animals.

But Mr Farthing said that despite being a US citizen who left on an American evacuation flight, she is now with 9,000 other refugees in a camp which he said does not have enough food supplies or toilets.

He told PA: “We’ve got thousands of people trying to leave Afghanistan because of a situation we created.

“The West created this, and I truly believe that getting my country manager out of Afghanistan was the right thing to do because I thought she’d be treated with dignity and a little bit of priority because she’s 33 weeks pregnant.

“But to see her now trapped in a hell hole prison camp… I can’t express how angry, upset, disappointed and disillusioned I am.

“She doesn’t even know exactly where she is right now.”

He added: “She’s scared, because what happens if she has the baby in that camp – have they got the right facilities, have they got anything set up, and what if there’s complications?”

One photo sent to Mr Farthing from his manager shows a large hall with camp beds closely packed together, while another shows a large number of people, many wrapped in blankets, apparently in a queue, next to a row of tents.

The rest of the Nowzad team, including Mr Farthing, are due to fly out from Kabul in the coming days, if they can get through the chaos at the airport, his campaigner Dominic Dyer has said.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the US Department of Defence have been contacted for comment.

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