(CNN) – At least eight Westerners have been arrested by Taliban in Afghanistan CNN covered various incidents over the past two months.
This figure marks a dramatic escalation of the Taliban’s actions against Westerners living in the country.
No formal charges have been brought against the detained men. They include seven British nationals, including one legal resident of the US and one US citizen, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter in Afghanistan, the United States and Britain.
Former Vice President of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh tweeted that “nine” Westerners have been “kidnapped” by the Taliban, naming journalists Andrew North, formerly of the BBC, who is in the country working for the United Nations, and Peter Jouvenal, who has worked with the BBC and CNN, both are British citizens.
The reasons for each specific detention are unclear, and they are not believed to be related.
Jouvenal’s detention was confirmed by his family and friends to CNN.
“Peter Jouvenal’s friends are extremely concerned for his safety after being detained by the Afghan authorities in early December. A dual British/German national, Peter has been in Afghanistan for over forty years, as a videographer, entrepreneur and freelance investor,” his family said in a statement. “He is a Muslim, knows Afghanistan better than most foreigners, is married to an Afghan (they have three daughters) and speaks both languages. He is being held without charge, and has no freedom of contact with his family or his attorney. “
The family also say they believe his detention may have been a mistake and note that he has health complications that make his detention more dangerous.
“Peter’s family and friends believe he may have been detained by mistake, while he was in Afghanistan to discuss investments in the Afghan mining industry and conduct business. of the family. Before his arrest, he was active in public and regularly met with senior Taliban officials. We urgently ask the Afghan government to release Peter,” the family said. “He has high blood pressure and needs medication. There is a heightened threat of COVID-19 transmission in the Afghan prison system. ”
North’s wife, Natalia Antelava, also confirmed to CNN that her husband has been detained.
“Thank you everyone for your messages. Andrew is in Kabul working for UNHCR trying to help the people of Afghanistan,” Antelava tweeted Friday. “We are extremely concerned for his safety and call on anyone with influence to help secure his release.”
North in Afghanistan on assignment for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and The UN agency tweeted about the situation on Friday.
“We are doing our best to resolve the situation, in coordination with others. We will not be commenting further because of the nature of the situation,” the statement said.
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https://nbc-2.com/cnn/2022/02/12/at-least-8-hostages-are-being-held-by-the-taliban-in-afghanistan/ At least 8 hostages are being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan