While embassy staff from the Netherlands and Sweden fled to their countries, they left their staff in the dark as they turned up for work.
On August 15, as the Taliban closed in on Kabul, Afghan workers at the Dutch embassy turned up expecting to work alongside their colleagues on what they assumed would be a busy day ahead.
What they found, much to their shock, was an abandoned embassy. The American military had evacuated the Dutch staff, leaving local Afghan employees behind.
"Without telling your own staff, leave like a thief in the night to save your own skin," said one Dutch journalist following the revelations.
The staff of most western embassies frantically rushed towards the exit leaving many of their staff in the lurch to deal with the fallout of the collapsing western-backed Afghan government.
Staff that had worked in the embassy, some for years, as translators, analysts and service staff were abandoned in the dead of night.
The Dutch foreign affairs minister Sigrid Kaag told the country's parliament that "Due to the rush and a problem with the communication equipment, there was no way to immediately inform the local Afghan personnel."
Many didn't buy the excuse. With some remarking that all "it would take [is] only 1 decent person to alert the local staff. Not one of them had the heart to do so. That says a lot."
i don't know how many dutch staff the embassy had but it would take only 1 decent person to alert the local staff. not one of them had the heart to do so. that says a lot. https://t.co/5RR4eBBz1s— Mengu Kagan (@mengukagan) August 17, 2021
Whereas other people were even less forgiving.
Next time kindly fuck off with your so-called Western values of democracy and human rights. You hypocritical Europeans left your Afghan colleague like rats. https://t.co/DsmJ3s0LOw— Tony Toh (@tonytohcy) August 17, 2021
It also quickly emerged that the Swedish embassy did something similar. As Afghan staff worked, their Swedish colleagues left for the airport.
According to one Swedish journalist, staff at the embassy refused to answer calls from the Afghan staff and even blocked their official email accounts."
One social media user called the decision "morally bankrupt."
Whereas another said, "here is another example of how the Europeans, the champions of Human Rights and Human Dignity, treated the Afghani locals who worked for them."
When they ask, tell that European values are important. https://t.co/YfvJIgU6tn— Ozan Altan Altınok (@OzanNok) August 17, 2021