Opinion: The Taliban should release their other detainees

A “proof of life” video surfaced on Friday, the day the Rauf brothers were released Markus Frerichs, an American who was kidnapped more than two years ago and is believed to be held by the Taliban and their allies before they took over the entire country last August. Frerichs, a Navy veteran and civil engineer, worked on development projects in Afghanistan.

The video was obtained by the New Yorker, and Frerichs’ sister confirmed his identity.

Along with Frerichs, the Taliban also arrested British citizen Peter Jouvenal, a businessman and former TV journalist who filmed the first TV interview with Osama bin Laden for CNN in 1997. Jouvenal and I have been friends since we first worked together for CNN in Afghanistan almost three decades ago.

He was arrested by the Taliban middle of Decemberaround the same time four other British citizens were also arrested.
Jouvenal’s family and friends, who feared his detention may have been a mistake, released a statement in February. saying“He is Muslim, knows Afghanistan better than most foreigners, is married to an Afghan (they have three daughters) and speaks both of their main languages. He is being held without charge… Prior to his arrest, he worked openly and had frequent meetings with senior Taliban officials.”

If the Taliban genuinely want to be treated as the responsible de facto government of Afghanistan, they should release the British and American citizens they continue to hold.

Around the world, the Islamic holy time of Ramadan, traditionally a time of charity and reconciliation, begins. The Taliban should use this opportunity to release the six prisoners they are holding.

And if they are not willing to do so, then so should the British and American governments use the significant help which they continue to donate to humanitarian organizations in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to secure the release of their detainees.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/02/opinions/taliban-detainees-safi-rauf-bergen/index.html Opinion: The Taliban should release their other detainees

Charles Jones

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