For Immediate Release: August 16, 2021
Contact: Heather Cabral, 202-550-6880, email@example.com
Rev. Alvin Herring released the following statement as the news unfolds in Kabul and across Afghanistan.
Washington – The events unfolding in Afghanistan this week are the horrific remnants of a decades-long war. Four U.S. presidents have now presided over an intractable conflict that has cost thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and immeasurable suffering and sacrifice.
As people of faith across the United States, we share the core values of love and justice. Love allows us to feel the terrible fear that our Afghan brothers and sisters must be feeling in the face of this new wave of violence and repression. Love gives rise to a particular and abiding concern for the fate of women and girls under Taliban rule. Justice compels us to ensure that our government honors the commitments we have made as a nation to our Afghan allies who have risked so much, to protect them and provide a way out.
To honor our commitments and to act justly in these chaotic days, the U.S. Government has a moral obligation to use all of its operational and diplomatic power to:
- Evacuate all Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and their families, and women and men who risked their lives to work with US military and diplomatic entities in the hopes of transforming their nation. Those with SIV status and others most vulnerable to Taliban reprisals must be provided emergency humanitarian parole and be transported to the United States, if they choose. We call on the United States and its NATO allies to keep major Afghan airports open to facilitate the evacuation of all persons that wish to travel to the United States or another country.
- Defend and promote gender equity and human rights within Afghanistan during this transition and beyond.
The task of withdrawing our military presence from Afghanistan was never going to be an easy operation, but the Biden administration must ensure that the most vulnerable are protected, and that our allies in Afghanistan — many of whom have spent twenty years risking their lives in support of the U.S. military — are not abandoned and left to die.