An Afghan fixer in Sweden

June 19, 2009

Naqeebulla Sherzad is an Afghan fixer. He worked with Ajmal Naskhbandi, the fixer beheaded by the Taliban in 2007, and who inspired the formation of the Frontline Fixer’s Fund100% of funds raised are given to the families of fixers killed or injured while working with international media – After being told his name was on a Taliban "death list", Naqeebulla decided to leave Afghanistan. He finally wound up in Sweden where life has a different set of problems. He tells his story on the Committee to Protect Journalists site today,

Now I study the Swedish language and I’m trying to make my way back to journalism. I am not happy but I am safe. There are many things that make me unhappy. For example, losing my profession, which was dangerous, yes, but I wanted to improve and become a formal journalist. Leaving my family behind; they are still suffering because of my experience. And I am living alone in a different society, which sometimes makes me sick (Sweden can be dark and freezing cold).

There are some major problems too. I have not yet been issued an ID or a bank account, which are very necessary. I have applied for both, but the office that issue IDs refused to issue me one because I have no family members to certify that I am who I say I am. It is really hard to resettle in a new country, especially when you don’t speak the language and don’t come from a similar culture and traditions. I still have to find a part-time job to support my family.

For me, it is now impossible to return to my home country, since a documentary about Ajmal’s murder has been shown around the world (Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi)–I know they would find me and kill me. Because I am safe here, I will go through all these difficulties in exile and settle in at some point. But the loss of my friend and being lonely and worrying about my family’s security makes me depressed. link

You can donate to the Frontline Club Fixer’s Fund through our the Frontline Club Charity Giving account.