France flew five Afghan women who had been “threatened by the Taliban” from Pakistan to Paris, where they were due to arrive on Monday, French immigration authority chief Didier Leschi told AFP.
By presidential order, “special attention is being paid to women who are primarily threatened by the Taliban because they have held important positions in Afghan society… or have close contacts with Westerners. This is the case for five women who will arrive today,” Leschi said.
The women include a former university director, an ex-NGO consultant, a former television presenter, and a teacher at a secret school in Kabul.
One of the women was accompanied by three children.
The women had been unable to leave Afghanistan on airlifts to Western countries when the Taliban returned to power in 2021.
They fled to neighbouring Pakistan where they sought temporary refuge. From there, the French authorities organised their evacuation, Leschi said.
Once they arrive in France, they will be registered as asylum seekers and given housing while their applications for refugee status are considered, Leschi said.
He also said that such evacuations were “likely to be repeated” for other Afghan women with a similar profile.