Taliban releases several British citizens in Afghanistan

The Islamabad-Taliban terrorist group released several British citizens detained in Afghanistan after reaching an agreement between the two countries, the Taliban and British officials said Monday.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban government spokesman, said in a statement that the detainees were released on Sunday after a series of meetings between Afghanistan and British officials.

“Many British people arrested about six months ago for violating the laws and traditions of the Afghan people have been released,” he said.

Mujahid did not elaborate on what laws British citizens broke and why they were detained. The statement stated that they all respected Afghan law, the traditions and culture of the Afghan people, and promised not to violate them again.

The identity of British citizens was not disclosed by either government, but the Frontline Club, a London journalist club that campaigned to release former BBC photographer Peter Juvenal, was one of five released. Said to be a person.

Former BBC journalist David Loyn also tweeted:

“His family at this point thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their tireless efforts to demand privacy and ensure liberation.”

Peter Juvenal
British television cameraman Peter Juvenal (C) reunited with his wife (R) and sister-in-law (L) in Kabul, Afghanistan, on November 26, 2004, after being released from interrogation by Afghan authorities. (Farzana Wahidy / AFP via Getty Images)

According to a statement by the British government in February, there were many British under the control of the Taliban. The government refused to reveal its identity, but Juvenal’s wife, Hassina Sayed, told The Associated Press that the former freelance cameraman turned into a businessman was filmed on December 13.

“We welcome and thank the release of the five British citizens detained in Afghanistan by the current Afghan administration,” a statement from the British Foreign Ministry said.

There were no reports of the fate of American citizens detained in the Taliban. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’s State of the Union address earlier this year that Washington is “actively working” to free Americans from the Taliban’s detention. He refused to say more at the time because of “its sensitivity”.

The released detainees played no role in Britain, according to a British statement. Government work in Afghanistan traveled to the country against the British government’s travel advice. “This was a mistake,” he said.

“On behalf of the families of the British people, we apologize for any violations of Afghan culture, customs or laws and guarantee future good deeds,” a statement from the British Government added.

Juvenal’s wife, Afghan Saeed, said her husband is in a country investigating business opportunities, including investment in lithium mining. Afghanistan is rich in lithium, an important component of energy storage batteries. She said he was traveling alone and he had nothing to do with other detainees.

Juvenal worked as a freelance cameraman when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s, chasing the country through many wars. He is married to Saeed and they have three daughters.

Juvenal, who speaks both the two official languages ​​of Afghanistan, Pashto and Dari, had several meetings with the Taliban’s Ministry of Mining before being detained in December, Saeed said. Mr Sayed said Juvenal had been in regular contact with the Taliban authorities until he was detained, confirming that the Taliban authorities were aware of his activities and movements.

In the mid-2000s, Juvenal owned and operated a Ganda Mac restaurant and guesthouse in the capital of Afghanistan. This was well known among many journalists who visited Afghanistan during the US-led invasion that overthrew the Taliban in 2001.

Since taking power in mid-August last year, the Taliban have imposed strict edicts on Afghanistan, reminiscent of oppressive domination in the late 1990s. They limit the freedom and rights of women and minorities who are currently prohibited from attending school beyond the sixth grade. The country is in an unprecedented crisis and is rushing towards economic collapse as famine and hunger approach.

At least two detainees were in Afghanistan to secretly evacuate the Afghan people, according to people who were directly aware of the men detained in the Taliban. People with direct knowledge spoke to AP earlier this year on anonymous terms due to the sensitivity of the story.

The Taliban have revealed that Afghans without proper documentation are not allowed to leave the country.

Mr Sayed said he was concerned that her husband might have been involved in an investigation into the Taliban trying to secretly transfer Afghan people out of the country.

By Rahim Faiez

Associated Press