Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed six female Afghan judges and legislators who who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took over in August, to his office on Friday.
The women met with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou last week.
The women, three of whom are former lawmakers and the rest judges, and their families were offered temporary accommodation in Greece, and will all be resettled in various European countries with the assistance of Greek and international charitable organizations.
Shagufa Noorzai, former lawmaker from the Helmand province of Afghanistan’s south, expressed her grief at the Talbian takeover at an event in Athens in October, stating:
“We struggled for 20 years, but this all, I think, went to zero. We lost. They killed our thoughts, our freedom of expression,” she said. “Our country has darkened.”
The future of women in Afghanistan remains uncertain after the Taliban took over the country in August. Although the fundamentalist Islamic leaders claim that women will not be in danger and will have access to work, many fear that women, especially those who held positions of power, are at risk of violence and subjugation.
Greek PM “Proud” to welcome Afghan women to Greece
In a tweet, Mitsotakis stated that he was “very proud” that Greece accepted the women from Afghanistan, and provided them with accommodation on their way to Europe. He also expressed that the women’s “lives would otherwise have been threatened by the Taliban.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken heralded the conutry’s move to host the lawmakers while meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in the US.
Greece is offering safe passage and temporary accommodation to women that served as parliamentarians and judges in Afghanistan, as well as their relatives. Their lives would otherwise have been threatened by the Taliban. I am very proud of the action we are taking. pic.twitter.com/Z1B8MK4JQA
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) October 15, 2021
At the frontline of the European border, Greece has already begun to face another humanitarian crisis as Afghans flee their country.
Fearful of harsh Taliban rule and the very real threat to their lives, particularly if they are women — and even more specifically if they collaborated with the western forces that occupied the country for the better part of two decades — their only viable option is to leave their homeland.
Greece already hosts more than 2,200 Afghan refugees who have fled violence. And based on the UN’s recommendations this week, no Afghan refugees will be deported as they wait to plea their case for asylum in their host countries.
New waves of refugees will add to the 2.6 million Afghan refugees already displaced across the globe, amid years of war and violence at home.
Fleeing Afghanistan with the Taliban in control will prove a dangerous endeavor. But for many the alternative is certain death. Thousands have left out of fear of the socially and politically restrictive rule of the Taliban.
In order to prevent an influx of refugees from Afghanistan, Greece has agreed with its neighbor Turkey to prevent refugees from entering the two countries.
Greece will even hire more guards to patrol its borders to prevent refugees from Afghanistan to enter the country.