British citizens being detained in Afghanistan: UK

British citizens being detained in Afghanistan: UK

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British citizens being detained in Afghanistan: UK

A “number” of British nationals are being detained in Afghanistan, the UK government said Saturday, adding that it had raised the issue with the country’s Taliban authorities.

The foreign ministry’s statement to AFP came a day after the Taliban released two overseas journalists who had been detained, including a former BBC correspondent.

“We are providing support to the families of a number of British men who have been detained in Afghanistan,” the ministry said, without specifying how many British nationals were being held and by whom.

“UK officials have raised their detention with the Taliban at every opportunity, including when a delegation traveled to Kabul this week.”

A British delegation led by Hugo Shorter – head of the UK’s mission to Afghanistan but based in Qatar – flew to Kabul to meet Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi earlier this week.

Shorter said that he had discussed the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, as well as human rights abuses, with Taliban officials during his trip to the country.

On Friday, Western media reports said at least six British citizens were being detained in Afghanistan, including former BBC correspondent Andrew North, who was released later that day.

The Taliban authorities did not comment when contacted by AFP.

Also among British nationals detained is Peter Jouvenal, who has been held since early December, a statement released by his friends said.

A journalist-turned-businessman, Jouvenal is also a German citizen and is married to an Afghan woman.

He might have been “detained in error” as he was in Afghanistan to discuss investments in the country’s mining industry, the statement said.

“He is being held without charge, and with no freedom to contact his family or lawyers,” it said, adding that Jouvenal had been the cameraman for a CNN interview with the late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in 1997 in Afghanistan.

“Before his arrest he was working openly and had frequent meetings with senior Taliban officials