Led By Donkeys used a van with a digital screen to share a gut-wrenching clip of Zarlasht Halaimzai, a Brit with Afghan roots, as she appealed for Patel to help those currently “full of fear” in Afghanistan.
The home secretary was defending the government’s decision to resettle just 20,000 Afghan refugees in the next five years on Thursday.
Only a quarter of them will be allowed to enter the UK in the next year because, according to Patel, Britain “cannot accommodate 20,000 people in one go”.
Just minutes after said this on Sky News, Led By Donkeys posted their video of Halaimzai on Twitter with the caption: “A message for Priti Patel.”
Halaimzai, also the co-founder and CEO of Refugee Trauma, started her message by greeting Patel and saying: “I am sorry to interrupt your day, but I have an important message for you about Afghanistan.”
She explained how her family left the country years ago “because we feared for our lives”.
“I remember hoping against hope that I would be reunited with my grandmother. But I never saw her again.”
She added: “Today I am proudly British. I am also proud of my Afghan roots.”
She said the people in Afghanistan are “full of fear”.
She said the British asked Afghans to “stand with us in the war against extremism” back in 2001, and to put “faith in British values”.
She continued: “They put their lives on the line to protect British based on faith that this country would have their back.
“Now those people are counting on us. They are counting on you.
“Today Afghans are hoping that they too can rely on British values; that we would never betray our allies and leave those who have fought with us behind.”
She finished by asking: “Will you ensure that the people who risked their lives for Britain won’t have to risk their lives again, this time to save themselves?”
This is just the latest attack on the government over its mishandling of the escalating Afghanistan crisis.
The country was rapidly taken over by the Taliban just as the Nato forces were withdrawing.
Many are subsequently calling for the UK – and its allies – to step up and provide more immediate aid to the nation, and help civilians escape from the militants’ oppressive rule.