The war in Iraq is fast becoming history for most people in Britain.

But not for the thousands of Iraqis who have worked for the British army in Basra, from the invasion in 2003 to withdrawal of troops from the city in 2007.

As resistance to the British occupation grew, Iraqi interpreters employed by them were targeted by insurgent militias who have considered them traitors.

Despite the death threats, and requests for protection that was never given, they kept going to work.

The British government in October 2007 announced a resettlement scheme confirming that it would grant up to 500 visas to interpreters and members of their families.

After a year of waiting Ahmad is one of the lucky ones, arriving in the UK he was placed in a house in Bolton in the northern England, but what of those left behind?

Although Basra is now more peaceful interpreters like Karim, Ali and Haider continue to live in terror of bullets from militia gunmen.

For those who left behind the fight goes on, Suhad's husband Sami was one of the Iraqis who risked murder to work as an interpreter for British troops in Basra. 

Suhad alleges that the British Army did nothing to protect the interpreters once they left the British base each day to go home, Sami was kidnapped and killed by militiamen. Suhad is currently suing the ministry of defense compensation. 

People & Power investigates what the British government has done to help, what life is like for those brought to the UK, for those left in Iraq, and for the families still waiting for justice.


This episode of People & Power first aired in January 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera