Three British men are currently being held by Taliban in Afghanistan custody – including Miles Routledge, a so-called “danger tourist”, who returned to Afghanistan less than two years after being evacuated from the country by British armed forces.
Kevin Cornwell, a charity medic and an unnamed UK national managing a Kabul hotel are the other two suspects. All three men are believed to have been detained by the Taliban secret police in separate incidents since January.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), stated that they were working hard to establish consular contact with British citizens detained in Afghanistan and are supporting families.
Scott Richards, a representative of the Presidium Network non profit which is helping Mr Cornwell and unnamed Briton, stated to Sky News that he believes both are in good health.
He added that “There has not been any meaningful contact [with men], there have been no access by international surveillance agencies… and there has been no other form access to the individuals up to now.”
He said, “We are very hopeful that contact will occur.” His organization hopes that a positive change in the situation will occur during Ramadan’s end and Eid celebrations.
23-year-old Routledge has attracted attention and controversy by posting online about dangerous places he visited.
He was on a vacation in Afghanistan in August 2021 when he became entangled in chaos as the Taliban took over the country.
After looking up a list that included the most dangerous places in the world to visit, he chose war-torn Afghanistan despite the Taliban gaining more control over the country.
After being among the ones evacuated during a Kabul airlift, Mr Routledge thanked Britain’s Army.
Since then, he appears to have returned to the United States.
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Officers from the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence, (GDI), arrested Mr Cornwell, 53.
Although he is being accused of keeping an illegal firearm in his bedroom, his family claims he was granted a license for the firearm.
Richards stated that this was due to a “misunderstanding”, and that the licence could have been separated from the firearm during search.
Based on security risks, the FCDO advises UK citizens not to travel to Afghanistan. This includes the possibility of being detained by Taliban authorities.
“It would be foolish for anyone to enter Afghanistan without understanding the culture, these things,” warned Mr Richards.