One operator said Phil Young had shot the Afghan guard in order to stop the bloodbath. According to the operator, the dead man’s brother was well-known in Taliban ranks. His family lived in a Taliban stronghold on the Pakistani border.    

     Trouble maker. The guard had apparently been a troublemaker for some time and was about to be fired. The six guards had apparently been conspiring for some time to kidnap or kill the foreigners on a certain day early in October. Young and the guards worked for the American company Anham, which is linked to the American government’s Counternarcotics Advisory Teams (CNAT), in Lakshar Gah. The Macedonian guard commander apparently knew of the plot but did nothing to stop it. 

     “Phil and some of his colleagues returned that day from a mission and when he saw the six in civilian clothes but armed with AK47s, he immediately suspected trouble,” said the operator. “He confronted the men, upon which one aimed a weapon at Phil and fired a shot.” The shot missed Young and in self-defence, he fired three shots at the guard as he apparently realised that the lives of many of his colleagues would be in danger if all six of the men started firing at them. According to the operator, the central government in Afghanistan had rules and regulations for security guards, which stated that a person could fire back if he was being shot at.

*****

     This makes me sick.  All of these contractors that I have posted lately who are currently imprisoned in Afghanistan, are at the mercy of a corrupt government and pathetic justice system.  Just look at the facts with Philip Young’s case?  He should be given a medal and not a prison sentence. From the sounds of it, his actions probably saved the lives of his fellow contractors on that day, and yet he is currently being jerked around by a pathetic justice system in Afghanistan.

     So what can we do?  First, pass this around to everyone.  Second, write to the British Embassy in Kabul and let them know how you feel.  South Africa does not have diplomatic representation in Afghanistan, and the British government has agreed to help.  I say write the US Embassy as well, because what is going on with this man is just plain wrong. Thanks to Cassie for giving me the heads up on this. –Matt

Facebook for British Embassy in Kabul here.

Facebook for Philip Young here

Address: British Embassy, 15th Street Roundabout, Wazir Akbar Khan,PO Box: 334 Kabul, Afghanistan

Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday  08:30  to 16:30

Telephone:  (93)  (0) 700 102 000 (Switchboard)

Fax:  (93)  (0) 700 102 250  (Management)

E-mail: BritishEmbassy.Kabul@fco.gov.uk

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SA man gets longer sentence

2010-06-18

Erika Gibson, Beeld

Pretoria – A South African man who appealed against his five-year prison sentence in Afghanistan was given even worse news when his imprisonment was extended to 16 years.Security specialist Philip Young was devastated by the news, his brother Pat Young said.”My brother is dismayed, angry and frustrated.”

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His brother was arrested in September last year when he shot dead an Afghan security guard who had threatened to shoot him and some of his other colleagues with an AK47.Self defenceThis was after the guard had already fired a shot into the ground from which shrapnel had hit Phil’s hand.But the State felt Phil’s response in self-defence exceeded the actions of the security guard.After the incident, Phil was arrested along with an Afghan colleague.He was working as a security specialist for the American company Anham as part of the American government’s counternarcotics initiative in Afghanistan.”We knew the appeal could go wrong. The prosecutor after all, in the beginning of the case, asked for the death penalty.”He was extremely dissatisfied when Phil was only given five years on a lesser charge.”He as well as my brother had to sign documents after sentencing in which they protested against the sentence.”Now it would appear as if the State’s protest carried the most weight.Hopes for presidential pardon”This is not the end – we can also appeal in the high court – but I don’t know how long this process will take.”Phil’s appeal was postponed six times without reason before it was suddenly heard on Wednesday.Pat had earlier travelled to Afghanistan to gather facts for the case, precisely because the country’s legal system was chaotic and unpredictable.He then established that certain key evidence was never handed in or witnesses weren’t found.Pat hopes that a presidential pardon could help if they run out of legal options.He has already sent a petition to Afghan President Hamid Kharzai on behalf of himself and his brothers’ three children, but has not heard anything back yet.

Story here.

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SA man ‘tried to stop bloodbath’

2009-11-19

Erika Gibson

Johannesburg – The security guard shot dead in Afghanistan by a South African man who is now accused of his murder, apparently had close ties with the Taliban.He and another five guards allegedly conspired in October to kill all the foreign safety operators in their compound.One operator said Phil Young had shot the Afghan guard in order to stop the bloodbath.According to the operator, the dead man’s brother was well-known in Taliban ranks. His family lived in a Taliban stronghold on the Pakistani border.TroublemakerThe guard had apparently been a troublemaker for some time and was about to be fired.The six guards had apparently been conspiring for some time to kidnap or kill the foreigners on a certain day early in October.Young and the guards worked for the American company Anham, which is linked to the American government’s Counternarcotics Advisory Teams (CNAT), in Lakshar Gah.The Macedonian guard commander apparently knew of the plot but did nothing to stop it.”Phil and some of his colleagues returned that day from a mission and when he saw the six in civilian clothes but armed with AK47s, he immediately suspected trouble,” said the operator.”He confronted the men, upon which one aimed a weapon at Phil and fired a shot.”The shot missed Young and in self-defence, he fired three shots at the guard as he apparently realised that the lives of many of his colleagues would be in danger if all six of the men started firing at them.According to the operator, the central government in Afghanistan had rules and regulations for security guards, which stated that a person could fire back if he was being shot at.Not formally chargedSince the incident, Young has been held in Kabul, without being formally charged.According to his brother Pat, who lives in Johannesburg, he was moved to the Afghan government’s justice centre in the last week.”The Red Cross as well as a representative of the British Embassy in Kabul visited him this week. Their feedback was that under the circumstances, he was well. The Red Cross took him letters from his children and loved ones. The organisation also said it would take him writing materials so he could write back.”Pat Young said there was still no clarity about when the matter against his brother would be resolved.”It does seem. however, as if international pressure is building and causing the Afghan government to take action.”Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, director general of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, said this week that the South African government was in close contact with the British Embassy in Kabul.”We don’t have diplomatic representation in Afghanistan and in this matter have an agreement with the British to look after our citizen.”

Story here.