Vermonter working to help judges flee from Afghanistan

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - One Vermonter is working to help judges from Afghanistan and their families flee the country.

Patricia Whalen of Westminster is a retired judge and a member of the International Association of Women Judges. She says Vermont specifically has a connection because of a program they held for 10 years. It was the Vermont Judicial Education Program for Afghan Women Judges. They connected with about 35 judges.

Whalen says since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, there were 270 women judges in Afghanistan. About 250 wanted to leave and they are working about 70 still left who want to get out and get out safely.

Reporter Ike Bendavid: Are any in Vermont now or coming here, or are they coming here in the future?

Retired Judge Patricia Whalen: None are in Vermont, sadly. About eight judges got out during the time of the airport through various ways made it into the airport. Since then, other judges are just in the last two weeks starting to come in to the United States.

Whalen said many of the judges and their familes are heading to states like Californa and Virginia that have high Afghan populations.

Watch the video to see our Ike Bendavid’s full conversation with Patricia Whalen.