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Afghanistan's First Female Pilot Seeks Political Asylum

Image: Afghanistan's First Female Pilot Seeks Political Asylum

Afghanistan's first female pilot Niloofar Rahmani, 23, sits in a fixed-wing Afghan Air Force aviator aircraft in Kabul. (AFP)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 05:24 PM

Captain Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan's first female air force pilot, is seeking political asylum in the United States because she has received death threats for her notoriety, CNN reports.

"It's been well documented that while captain Rahmani has been very successful in her career, that unfortunately she has received numerous threats from insurgent factions, she’s received condemnation from people inside the government, from outside the government,” attorney Kimberly Motley told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"If she were to return to Afghanistan, she would be in fear of her safety,"

Rahmani made history in 2013 when she became the country’s first female fixed-wing pilot. She was 21 then and got worldwide recognition for her accomplishment, with some news outlets calling her "iconic."

Last week she was scheduled to return to Afghanistan after a 15-month training course with the U.S. Air Force but instead has sought a bid to stay in the country.

"Since I started, I was very young to start, because I wanted to encourage more females in my country to do the same job, but unfortunately there are people that, of course, we know that over 30 years, the story of Afghanistan, there is a war, a wild lands, a discrimination against the female in Afghanistan," Rahmani told CNN.

"So unfortunately for me it became a public face in the country and all over the world that, OK, this is a female pilot in Afghanistan doing this, and I understand it was to encourage other females in my country to do the same job, but unfortunately it became a negative point against me and my family for the people like Taliban, extended family, that we had no control over it."

She has been criticized back home for not wanting to return.

"What she said in the U.S. was irresponsible and unexpected. She was meant to be a role model for other young Afghans," defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh told The National. "She has betrayed her country. It is a shame."

 

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Captain Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan's first female air force pilot, is seeking political asylum in the United States because she has received death threats for her notoriety, CNN reports.
Niloofar Rahmani, afghanistan, CNN, political asylum, barack obama, obama, donald trump
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2016-24-27
Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 05:24 PM
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