The Afghan Taliban have detained many Britishers and one American citizen, raising concerns about the safety of foreigners living in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule.
Multiple Britishers and one American are under Taliban’s custody
This week, the British government issued a statement, noting many of its citizens are under the custody of the Afghan Taliban. Included in them is a freelance journalist who has been working in the country for more than 40 years.
Although the government denied revealing their identities, the wife of the journalist told the Associated Press her husband has been under Taliban’s custody since December 3.
Likewise, the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN the American government has been trying hard for the release of an American in the custody of the Taliban.
He said the country would not release any specifics about the individual, due to the “sensitivity” of the matter.
The only detainee whose identity has been revealed so far, i.e. Peter Jouvenal, worked as a freelance cameraman in Afghanistan during the Soviet Union’s invasion of the 1980s.
“Taliban authorities are holding at least nine foreigners in custody in Kabul—including one American and several British citizen…, inflaming tensions with the West at a time when Afghanistan desperately needs international aid.” https://t.co/9nlcBmNuol
— Ali Maisam Nazary (@alinazary) February 11, 2022
Since then, he has been working in the country and capturing photos and videos in various instances.
According to his wife Hassina Syed, Jouvenal speaks Pashto and Dari, the two official languages of Afghanistan. He had many meetings with the mining ministry of the Taliban government before getting detained in December.
Syed further stated his husband was continuously reporting to the Taliban government to prove he was not involved in any illegal activity in the country.
Even though no charges were filed against the journalist, he was still detained by the Afghan government, Syed said.
Detainees were allegedly helping Afghans to exit the country
When the US overthrew the Taliban government after 9/11, Jouvenal bought a Gandamak restaurant in Afghanistan; this became famous among many journalists who came to the country after the US invasion.
Although the British government said they discussed the matter with the Taliban, the Taliban has not made any public statement about the detainees.
Some people aware of the situation told the Associated Press at least two of the detained individuals were working in Afghanistan secretly to evacuate stranded Afghan citizens from the country.
The Taliban already made it clear no one without proper documents would be allowed to leave the country. Thus, the alleged actions of those two men prompted the Taliban to take action against them.
Andy Vermaut shares:Afghanistan’s Taliban detain Brits, American; reason unclear: … British nationals currently in Taliban custody. While the… https://t.co/FyEK7czgq7 Thank you. #AndyVermautFightsTerrorismEveryDay #TerroristsAreNeverReligiousOrSpiritualBeings #StopTheHateNow
— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) February 18, 2022
This led Syed to believe her husband is also being caught allegedly for helping people move out of the country.
However, she indicated the possibility of her husband doing this is next to impossible as she was also planning to go to Afghanistan to invest in the mining sector of the country.
While criticizing the Taliban government, Syed noted although the extremist group wants people to come and invest in the country, it is persistent in denying the human rights of the same people.