UK govt ‘in negotiations’ after three British men held in Afghanistan


British Home Secretary Suella Braverman said on Sunday that the UK government was “in negotiations” following the detention of three British men by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Media reports identified the men as charity doctor Kevin Cornwell, 53, the unnamed manager of a hotel for aid workers and YouTube star Miles Routledge.

“The government is negotiating and working hard to ensure people’s safety is upheld,” Braverman told Sky News.

The non-profit group Presidium Network said on Twitter on Saturday that it was “working closely with two of the families”.

“We are working hard to secure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are supporting families,” the UK foreign ministry said in a statement.

Scott Richards from the Presidium Network told Sky News: “We believe they are in good health and well treated.

“We have no reason to believe that they have been subjected to any negative treatment such as torture and we are told that they are as good as can be expected in such circumstances.”

He said, however, that there had been “no meaningful contact” between the authorities and the two men who were helping Presidium.

The two men are believed to have been held by the Taliban since January.

It is not known how long the third man was held.

– ‘Misunderstanding’ –

Presidium on Twitter urged the Taliban “to be sensitive to what we believe is a misunderstanding and release these men”.

Last year the Taliban freed a veteran TV cameraman and four other British nationals who had been holding him hostage for six months.

Peter Jouvenal was one of a “number” of Britons who the government in London said were held by hardline Islamists.

The British foreign ministry said the five “had no role in the UK government’s work in Afghanistan and traveled to Afghanistan against UK government travel advice.”

“This was a mistake,” he said.

At the time, Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused the British of “carrying out activities against the laws and traditions of the Afghan people”.

“After successive meetings between the IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) and Britain those people were released… and handed over to their home country,” he said.

“They promised to abide by the laws of Afghanistan, its traditions and the culture of the people and not to violate them again,” he said.

The Taliban came back to power in August 2021 and since then it has faced global outrage for its policies especially towards women and girls.

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