Sign The Independent’s petition calling for UK to support Afghan war heroes who served alongside Britain

The Independent has launched a petition calling for the UK to support Afghan war heroes who served alongside British forces.

An Afghan war veteran who served alongside British armed forces is among those who have fled to the UK on small boats and are now being threatened with deportation to Rwanda.

The air force lieutenant, who flew 30 combat missions against the Taliban and was praised by his coalition forces supervisor as a “patriot to his nation”, was forced into hiding and said it was “impossible” to make his way to Britain via a safe route.

He says he is one of many Afghan forces personnel who have been “forgotten” by the US and British forces, and believes the promise of “friendship and cooperation” has been abandoned.

The Independent believes that this hero – and all those who served alongside him – should be given the right to stay in the UK.

Senior military figures and MPs agree. As Tobias Ellwood, chair of parliament’s defence select committee, said of the deportation threat: “This is not who we are as a nation.”

Hollywood director Guy Ritchie has become the latest to back our campaign, saying it is “morally reprehensible” to deport Afghan heroes who fought alongside British forces.

When the government sent British forces into Afghanistan, it knew no military operation would be possible without the vital support of Afghans working alongside them.

These brave men and women put their lives on the line and it was only right that the UK offered them refuge and the chance to build a life in safety and security when the war ended.

But that pledge is now at risk. Attempts to create safe routes to the UK for all those who served have failed – and the government’s attempt to deal with the small boats crisis is set to make things worse.

The Independent is calling on the government to act now. It must live up to its promise to all those who served alongside the British military in Afghanistan.