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Save Documentary Translator from Taliban Execution - An Urgent Call to Action

By James Longley

film still from 'Angels are Made of Light' of Afghan girls in school session in a courtyard.

August 16 Update:

Over the weekend, as has been widely reported, the Taliban took control of Kabul. The collaborators of filmmaker James Longley are among tens of thousands of Afghan collaborators who are desperately trying to evacuate the county. Members of the D-Word can log on to see real-time efforts of the campaign to assist those Afghans who have worked with James, along with any others that come to the filmmaking community’s attention. 

Original Letter

Dear Friends,

As we have all seen in the news, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has worsened drastically, and the Taliban are rapidly taking over the country.

I am trying to help several friends in Afghanistan who worked with me on our film, Angels are Made of Light, as assistant directors and translators. Several of my former crew members are SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) applicants, and qualify for evacuation to the United States. Because of their work for US-funded projects in Afghanistan, they are targets for execution by the Taliban.

I am asking members of the U.S. documentary community to contact their Congressional representatives or other relevant contacts on behalf of one of these SIV applicants. Because of the imminent danger of execution, we are urgently asking for his cases to be fairly reviewed and that this SIV applicant and his family be evacuated from Afghanistan while their visas are processed. 

The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly, but we hope that with your help, we can draw attention to the SIV applications of my friend and bring him to safety.

Due to the extreme security risks they are exposed to, I am not able to identify this individual by name openly. However, when contacting your representative, you can use the following information and reference the Case ID number, which is only identifiable by the U.S. Embassy. 

Call your congressional representatives today!

  1. Find the number of your Senator and House Representatives

  2. Call their offices on the phone

  3. Identify yourself as a constituent and express your urgent concern for the safety of a documentary crew member working on US government projects. The said individual is a member of the international community of journalists and is facing execution in Afghanistan.

  4. Tell them that you are calling to support the SIV (special immigrant visa) of Applicant #NVCSIV2016019009. Ask them to contact the US Embassy in Kabul on your behalf to check on the SIV application of Applicant #NVCSIV2016019009 and to ask that his case be treated with urgency due to his location in Mazar-i-Sharif.

  5. If no staffer is available to take your call, leave a message with your name and number.

Professional members of The D-word may sign in to view details and supporting documents for the case.

Others not on The D-word who wish to assist may contact me directly at or (+1) 206-661-5030.


James Longley