Afghan actor who fought Taliban on screen lands safely in Sydney

Mr Mohibi said he hoped Australia would rescue more refugees like him whose lives were in danger after having helped Australians in Afghanistan.

“There are lots of people who served with Australians in Afghanistan whose lives are in danger. We would really appreciate help from the Australian government.”

Afghan actor and producer Faridullah Mohibi in a poster advertising one of his films.

Afghan actor and producer Faridullah Mohibi in a poster advertising one of his films.

Labor Party MP for Auburn Lynda Voltz and National Party MP Trevor Khan drafted the petition which they and 54 other MPs have signed. “I’ve seen the toll this has taken on constituents in my area and urge the federal government to take up the call in the joint statement to increase the intake and provide certainty,” Ms Voltz said.

Mr Khan said he was “proud to see members of NSW Parliament from right across the political divide support Australia’s Afghan community and displaced people from the region”.

Joint statement signed by 57 NSW MPs

Joint statement signed by 57 NSW MPs

“I implore the federal government to step up and lead by increasing our refugee intake from Afghanistan. This is a humanitarian issue, not a political one,” he said.

The petition says that while Australia’s willingness to take in at least 3000 Afghan refugees was welcome, “it falls well short” of the commitments made by other countries including Canada and Britain, which have each committed to resettle 20,000 refugees.

Signatories include Liberal-National Coalition MPs Tanya Davies, Catherine Cusack, James Griffin, Natalie Ward, Shayne Mallard and Damien Tudehope, and Greens MPs David Shoebridge, Jenny Leong, Jamie Parker, Cate Faehrmann and Abigail Boyd.

Independent MP Alex Greenwich has also signed, as did Fred Nile from the Christian Democratic Party and Emma Hurst of the Animal Justice Party.

ALP signatories include Ryan Park, Jihad Dib, Paul Lynch, Jodi McKay, Sophie Cotsis, Adam Searle, John Graham, Penny Sharp, Trish Doyle, Yasmin Catley, Jo Haylen, Steve Kamper, Jo Haylen, Courtney Houssos, Anthony D’Adam and Clayton Barr.

Reverend Nile said priority should be given to Afghan refugees who were working for the Australian government as interpreters and other official roles.

He had signed the petition to show support for the refugees Australia had left behind in Afghanistan “irrespective of their religious background” and to encourage the federal government to “have an open door”.

Liberal Party MP Catherine Cusack said she was “overwhelmed with a sense of shame” about friends of Australia being left behind in Afghanistan.

“The shocking scenes at Kabul airport showed every Australian what exactly it means for our friends to be left behind,” she said. “Abandoning our responsibility would be a stain on our participation there.“

Independent MP Alex Greenwich said he was particularly concerned about LGBTI people in Afghanistan and the honour killings the Taliban may be committing.

“I think that Australia and NSW has a responsibility to provide safe refuge to the most vulnerable communities in Afghanistan who are being targeted by the Taliban,” he said.

“I think we deserve the condemnation of the international community if we do not look after those who looked after us.”

The Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said it was “critical Australia supports those fleeing this humanitarian crisis”. “I have held two meetings with the Federal Minister for Multicultural Affairs in which I strongly advocated for a higher intake of Afghans to join us here in Australia,” she said.

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