December 2, 2022

5 British Men Released by Taliban as U.K. Expresses Regret

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British officials said Monday that the Afghan government had released five British nationals. Statement This included an apology from the men and an apology from the British government.

The British were caught in one crack down Foreigners and Afghan civil society activists attacked by the Taliban after seizing power in August. The British government on Monday did not comment on the circumstances of the men’s release or why they were detained, but a Taliban spokesman said they had violated Afghan law and tradition.

The release is in line with a statement of condolence issued by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

“On behalf of the families of the British citizens, we apologize for any violations of Afghan culture, customs or laws, and for assuring them of good future conduct,” the statement said. The statement said.

The statement said Britain welcomed the release.

“These British nationals had no role in the British government’s work in Afghanistan and they traveled to Afghanistan against the British government’s travel advice,” it said. “It was a mistake.”

The statement concluded, “The British Government regrets this incident.”

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban government, said on Twitter on Monday that the detainees were “acting against the laws and traditions of the Afghan people.”

Mr Mujahid said he had “left for his country” on Sunday after nearly six months in detention between the British and Afghan governments.

“These people have promised that from now on they will not do anything against the laws of Afghanistan and will act in accordance with the principles and traditions of the Afghan people,” said Mr Mujahid. He did not name the British or say how many had been released.

The men were detained during the weeks of chaos following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, as thousands of Afghans sought to flee the country and the Taliban struggled to maintain peace.

The British statement did not identify the men, but the family of Peter Juvenal, a former journalist and businessman who is Muslim and married to an Afghan, said they were among those released. The statement said he faced “a lengthy trial” during his more than six months in prison.

“We are grateful to the thousands of people who have supported his release,” the statement said. “We thank the team at the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office who worked tirelessly to secure his release.”

The statement was issued by David Lowen, a longtime friend of Mr. Juveniles and a spokesman for his family. Mr Lewin said on Monday that he was awaiting confirmation that Mr Junell and others were out of Afghanistan.

Credit …By David Lowen, Associated Press

Mr Juvenal has been in Afghanistan for a long time and has run a guesthouse in Kabul for years, frequented by international journalists, diplomats and aid workers.

In a statement in February, Mr Jouvenal said: Family and friends said They were discussing investment in Afghanistan’s mining industry and family matters. The statement said he was working openly and had frequent contacts with senior Taliban officials.

The British government said in February that several British nationals had been detained and had raised the issue with the Taliban.

The announcement comes a day after former BBC journalist Andrew North, who works for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Afghanistan, was detained by the Taliban for several days. Was released Mr North was accompanied by a Westerner and two Afghans working for the United Nations.

A Taliban spokesman said February 11 that the four had been detained because they did not have “correct identities and permits” and had been released after verifying their identities.

The United States has said it is detaining Mark R. Fries, a U.S. citizen who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a civil engineer working as a contractor in Afghanistan. Kidnapping Through the Taliban’s Haqqani Network in January 2020.

“He has done nothing wrong,” Biden said in a statement Statement On the anniversary of the abduction of Mr. Freichs in January. “And yet the Taliban have been holding him captive for two years.”

Safiullah Padshah Assisted in reporting from Kabul.

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