British men detained by Taliban in Afghanistan: British govt in negotiations for their release


2nd April 2023 – (London) Britain’s interior minister Suella Braverman has confirmed that the UK government is in negotiations with the Taliban after three British men were detained by the militant group in Afghanistan. The men have been identified as charity medic Kevin Cornwell, hotel manager for aid workers (unnamed), and YouTube star Miles Routledge. The government is working hard to ensure the safety of its nationals, according to Braverman.

The non-profit group the Presidium Network has been closely working with two of the families and is trying to secure consular contact with the detained men. The UK’s foreign ministry has also issued a statement saying that they are supporting the families and working hard to secure the release of the British nationals.

Scott Richards of the Presidium Network has confirmed that the detained men are in good health and being well treated. He added that there had been no negative treatment, such as torture, and they are as good as can be expected in such circumstances. However, authorities have had no meaningful contact with the two men that Presidium is assisting.

The two men who Presidium is assisting have been held by the Taliban since January, but it is not known how long the third man has been held for. Presidium has urged the Taliban to be considerate and release the men, whom they believe are detained due to a misunderstanding.

Last year, the Taliban released a veteran television cameraman and four other British nationals who were held for six months. The UK government confirmed that the five had no role in its work in Afghanistan and had travelled to the country against its travel advice.

Afghanistan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused the Britons of “carrying out activities against the country’s laws and traditions of the people of Afghanistan.” However, after consecutive meetings between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and Britain, the detainees were released and handed over to their home country.

The Taliban has been accused of violating human rights since they returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021. Its policies, particularly towards women and girls, have sparked global outrage. It remains to be seen how negotiations for the release of the detained British nationals will progress.