Afghan man is convicted in France just days after he was evacuated from Taliban-controlled Kabul
- The man, identified only as Ahmat M., was handed a 10-month suspended jail sentence for violating the terms of a surveillance order
- Ahmat M is one of five people who were placed under surveillance after their arrival in France as part of an investigation into links with the Taliban
- He had been ordered not to leave Paris suburb Noisy-le-Grand but he left zone
An Afghan man has been handed a 10-month suspended jail sentence by a French court for violating the terms of a surveillance order, just days after France evacuated him from Taliban-controlled Kabul.
The man, identified only as Ahmat M., is one of five people who were placed under surveillance after their arrival in France as part of an investigation into links with the Taliban.
One man, not Ahmat M, is suspected of working for the Taliban despite helping France evacuate nationals and Afghans in danger. He and four others deemed close to him, including Ahmat M., were placed under surveillance earlier this week.
The surveillance order included strict limits on movements and Ahmat M., who arrived at the weekend, was convicted by a court late Wednesday for straying outside of this zone.
The man, identified only as Ahmat M., is one of five people who were placed under surveillance after their arrival in France as part of an investigation into links with the Taliban. Pictured: People who fled Afghanistan land at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle near Paris on August 17
Ahmat M., who says he was a prosecutor in Afghanistan before resuming his law studies, had been ordered not to leave the Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand, where he was living in a hotel with his wife, three-month-old daughter and several other family members.
But he was arrested on Monday after leaving the suburb to go to a grocery store in the 18th arrondissement of Paris
He told the court he wanted to buy medicine because he suffered from headaches and vomiting since arriving in France. In sometimes confused remarks, he said he followed a man living in the same hotel who offered to buy him these medicines, without realising that he was going to central Paris.
The other man told investigators that Ahmat M. had asked him to accompany him to Paris to buy SIM cards. Ahmat M. also insisted he was unaware of the restrictions he had to follow.
‘This is not the case of a Taliban in France, it is the case of a man who fled his country with his wife and his three-month-old daughter’ and who was arrested for ‘going to the supermarket,’ said his lawyer Alice Ouaknine.
The right has accused the government of President Emmanuel Macron of failing to carry out proper security checks while he has also faced criticism from the left who accuse him of letting down ordinary Afghans by only allowing limited numbers into France. Pictured: Afghan refugees stay in a hotel room in Paris after being evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint on the road in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday
The possibility that there could be Taliban members among the hundreds of Afghans evacuated by France over the last fortnight has ignited a storm of controversy in France, with migration set to be a prime battleground in 2022 presidential elections.
The right has accused the government of President Emmanuel Macron of failing to carry out proper security checks while he has also faced criticism from the left who accuse him of letting down ordinary Afghans by only allowing limited numbers into France.
Meanwhile, as thousands of Afghans try to flee the Taliban-controlled country, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told French radio RTL on Thursday that ‘from tomorrow evening onwards, we are not able to evacuate people from the Kabul airport’ due to the upcoming American withdrawal.
The United States and allies urged people to move away from Kabul airport on Thursday due to the threat of a terror attack by Islamic State militants as Western troops hurry to evacuate as many people as possible before an August 31 deadline.
Pressure to complete the evacuations of thousands of foreigners and Afghans who helped Western countries during the 20-year war against the Taliban has intensified, with all U.S. and allied troops due to leave the airport next week.
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