Basir Yousofy says he learned Lithuanian while working with Lithuanian troops in Afghanistan. He has now fled war and persecution in his country and ended up in a refugee camp on the Greek-Macedonian border. Basir wants to come and ask for asylum in Lithuania.
“Good day to everyone in Lithuania,” he says in the video, in Lithuanian. “I have one favour to ask of the president of Lithuania. I need help. I am now in Greece. I am the only one from Afghanistan here. I used to work with Lithuanians [in Afghanistan] and now I need help. There are people from Syria, Iraq here. I would like to ask the Lithuanian president and the Lithuanian people to help me get out of here and get to Lithuania. I love Lithuania. Thank you very much.”
The video was posted by independent reporter Josh Freidman who interviewed Basir. The man said he worked with Lithuanian troops who led a reconstruction mission in the Ghor Province since 2005.
Basir tells that the situation has deteriorated in his province since NATO troops withdrew and that he received death threats from the Taliban.
“One Lithuanian girl would speak with me every day in my tent, I learned speaking and reading [Lithuanian]. When I worked with Lithuanians, I first worked in logistics and later as an interpreter,” Basir says.
Captain Jurgis Norvaiša of the Lithuanian Army confirms that he remembers Basir.
“Of course I know him. It is a great opportunity to do something for him. He used to live in our base,” he tells DELFI.
Basir says he has a family who stayed behind in Afghanistan: “I have a family, my daughter is in Afghanistan, I have a mother and a brother. They told me I can go first, because the situation in Ghor is not good. You can go first and after that bring us to Lithuania.”
If he were allowed to come to the Baltic state, Basir says he would like to open a hotel or work in a kitchen.