(LONDON) The British government is working to ensure that three Britons held by the Taliban in Afghanistan “are safe”, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman said on Sunday.
Asked on Sky News on Sunday, the minister suggested that the government was “in negotiations” over these three Britons.
“When there are risks to the safety of people, if they are British citizens overseas, then the government will do everything it can to make sure they are safe,” he said. she asserted.
“The government is in negotiations and working hard to ensure that people’s safety is respected,” she added.
According to British media, the three men are Kevin Cornwell, 53, a doctor for a charity, an unnamed hotel manager for aid workers and Miles Routledge, a YouTube celebrity.
The British NGO The Presidium Network said on Saturday on Twitter “to work closely” with the families of two of these Britons.
“They are apparently charged with what we believe is a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm,” but “we believe the situation is largely a misunderstanding,” Scott Richards, co-director, told AFP. -founder of the Presidium Network.
“We are working to establish consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are supporting the families,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday.
“We can confirm from the exchanges that took place today (Sunday) that these men are as well as possible in such a state of detention, and they have not been the subject of any untoward actions. from the Taliban,” said Scott Richards.
Two of these men have been held by the Taliban since January. It is not known how long the third man has been detained.
“What we hope in this situation […] is that the Taliban will consider having a more transparent and clear process in the operation of the law,” Scott Richards told AFP.
The Taliban had released in June 2022 the former journalist Peter Jouvenal whom they had held for six months as well as four other British nationals.
The Foreign Office had claimed that the five had “no role in the British government’s work in Afghanistan” and that they had traveled there “contrary to government travel recommendations.” It was a mistake “.
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 discussions with Kabul and London, “these people have been released…and returned to their country of origin”, he said, adding that they had “promised to respect the laws of Afghanistan, the traditions and culture of its people.
The Taliban returned to power in August 2021 and have since drawn international outrage over their policies, particularly towards women and girls.