The British Ministry of Defense has apologized after it mistakenly revealed the email addresses of more than 250 Afghan translators seeking to move to the UK.
London acknowledged that it left hundreds of eligible Afghans behind in the hasty evacuation that followed the Taliban’s takeover.
The BBC reported that an email sent by a Department of Defense team mistakenly included the addresses of more than 250 people, leaving them exposed.
Several titles included a photograph of the person.
One translator told the BBC that “this mistake could cost translators their lives, especially those who remained in Afghanistan”.
“An investigation has been opened into the breach of information from the Afghan Resettlement Assistance Policy Team,” a Defense Ministry spokesperson said late Monday.
“We apologize to all those affected by this violation and are working to ensure that it does not happen again,” he added.
And the BBC reported that the error relates to the Afghans who are still in their country and are hiding from the Taliban, as well as some who are in other countries.
The message told the interpreters that the team was doing everything possible to help with their relocation, but warned them not to leave their current location if it was unsafe to do so.
The ministry reportedly sent another message 30 minutes later asking recipients to change their email addresses.
The data breach infuriated conservative lawmaker Johnny Mercer, who called it a “criminal negligent measure”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said weeks ago that the 311 people who remained in Afghanistan could be eligible for Britain’s Assistance and Resettlement Programme, such as interpreters.
“We will do everything we can to ensure they get the safe passage they deserve,” Johnson told parliament.
Britain evacuated more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan after the Taliban captured Kabul, including the British and Afghans.
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