UK government ‘in negotiations’ over three Britons held by Taliban in Afghanistan | UK News

The UK Home Secretary said the British government was “in negotiations” over three Britons held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The three British men include “danger tourist” Miles Routledge, 23, charity doctor Kevin Cornwell, 53, and an unnamed British citizen who manages a hotel in Kabul.

They are all believed to have been detained by the Taliban’s secret police since January in separate incidents, it emerged on Saturday.

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Home Secretary Suella Braverman told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “If there is a risk to people’s safety, if they are British nationals abroad, then the UK government will do anything what is needed to ensure that they are safe.

“The government is negotiating and working hard to ensure the safety of the people.”

Asked directly if the government was negotiating, Ms Braverman replied: “If there is a problem and if there are concerns about the safety of British individuals abroad, the FCO will work hard. to make sure everyone are safe.”

She added that anyone traveling to dangerous parts of the world “should exercise extreme caution” and should always act on the advice of the Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development (FCDO). .

The FCDO advises UK citizens not to travel to Afghanistan based on the security risks involved, including the possibility of being detained by Taliban authorities, with the specific risk of British nationals being detained by the government. You may not be notified.

It said there were no British consular officials in the country and its ability to provide consular assistance was “severely limited and cannot be delivered in person”.

Earlier, an FCDO spokesman said: “We are working to ensure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are providing support to the families.”

The UK maintains a no-negotiation rule with terrorists, but the Afghan Taliban is not a banned terrorist group and Supreme Leader Hibutallah Akhundzada is not subject to sanctions.

Image of Miles Routledge on a military-style plane
Mr. Routledge had to be airlifted out of Afghanistan when Western governments withdrew in 2021

Mr. Routledge, 23, became famous – and attracted controversy – by traveling to dangerous countries and posting that information online.

In August 2021, he is on a “holiday” in Afghanistan as he was caught up in the chaos in the capital as the Taliban took control of the country.

He chose the war-torn country after looking up a list of the most dangerous places to visit in the world, even though the Taliban were taking control of more and more of the country at the time.

Mr. Routledge thanked the British Army after he was among those who left during the airlift in Kabul when the United Kingdom and allied forces abruptly left the country when the Taliban took over.

He seems to have returned to the country since then.

Mr. Routledge in Afghanistan

Scott Richards from the non-profit Presidium Network, which is supporting Mr Cornwell and the unnamed Briton, told Sky News he believes the couple are in good health and well treated.

But he added: “There was no meaningful contact [with the men]no access by international watchdogs… and no other form of access to individuals to date.”

He said he was “very hopeful” they would contact the men.

Mr. Cornwell was arrested at his hotel by officials from the Taliban’s Directorate of Intelligence on January 11.

He was accused of having an illegal firearm in the safe in his room, but his family said he was licensed for the firearm.

Mr Richards said this was a “misunderstanding” and that the license could have been detached from the gun during the search.


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