The Afghan authorities has launched 5 British residents from custody, British officers stated Monday in an announcement that included an apology on behalf of the boys and an expression of remorse from the U.Okay. authorities.
The Britons had been caught up in a crackdown on foreigners and Afghan civil society activists by the Taliban after they seized energy in August. The British authorities didn’t remark Monday on the circumstances of the boys’s launch or why they’d been imprisoned, however a Taliban spokesman stated they’d violated Afghan legal guidelines and traditions.
The discharge coincided with an announcement of contrition issued by Britain’s International, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace.
“On behalf of the households of the British nationals, we specific their apologies for any breach of Afghan tradition, customs or legal guidelines, and of their assurance of future good conduct,” the assertion stated.
The assertion stated Britain welcomed the discharge.
“These British nationals had no position within the U.Okay. authorities’s work in Afghanistan and traveled to Afghanistan in opposition to the U.Okay. authorities’s journey recommendation,” it stated. “This was a mistake.”
Reporting From Afghanistan
The assertion concluded, “The U.Okay. authorities regrets this episode.”
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban authorities spokesman, stated on Twitter Monday that the detained Britons had been “finishing up actions in opposition to the nation’s legal guidelines and traditions of the folks of Afghanistan.”
Mr. Mujahid stated the Britons “left for his or her nation” on Sunday following “successive conferences” between the British and Afghan governments after about six months in custody.
“These folks promised that any longer they won’t do something in opposition to the legal guidelines of Afghanistan and can act in accordance with the rules and traditions of the Afghan folks,” Mr. Mujahid stated. He didn’t present the names of the Britons or specify what number of had been launched.
The lads have been detained through the chaotic weeks following the American exit from Afghanistan, when 1000’s of Afghans have been attempting to flee the nation and the Taliban have been struggling to take care of order.
The British assertion didn’t determine the boys, however the household of Peter Jouvenal, a former journalist and businessman who’s Muslim and is married to an Afghan, stated he was amongst these launched. The assertion stated he had endured “a protracted ordeal” whereas imprisoned for greater than six months.
“We’re grateful to the 1000’s of people that have supported the marketing campaign to launch him,” the assertion stated. “We thank the group within the U.Okay. International Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace who’ve labored tirelessly to safe his launch.”
The assertion was launched by David Loyn, a longtime good friend of Mr. Jouvenal’s and a spokesman for his household. Mr. Loyn stated Monday he was awaiting affirmation that the Mr. Jouvenal and the others have been out of Afghanistan.
Mr. Jouvenal was a longtime resident of Afghanistan who for years operated a guesthouse in Kabul frequented by worldwide journalists, diplomats and assist staff.
In an announcement in February, Mr. Jouvenal’s household and mates stated he had been discussing investments in Afghanistan’s mining business and conducting household issues. The assertion stated he had been working brazenly and was in frequent contact with senior Taliban officers.
The British authorities stated in February that a number of British residents had been detained and that it had raised the problem with the Taliban.
That announcement got here a day after the United Nations stated that Andrew North, a former BBC journalist working in Afghanistan for the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, had been launched after being held by the Taliban for a number of days. A Westerner and two Afghans additionally working for the U.N. have been launched together with Mr. North.
A Taliban spokesman stated Feb. 11 that the 4 had been detained as a result of they didn’t have “the right identification and permits” and that they’d been launched after their identities have been verified.
The USA has stated the Taliban continues to carry an American citizen, Mark R. Frerichs, a United States Navy veteran and civil engineer who was working as a contractor in Afghanistan when he was kidnapped by the Haqqani Community of the Taliban in January 2020.
“He has executed nothing unsuitable,” President Biden stated in an announcement in January on the anniversary of Mr. Frerichs’s abduction. “And but for 2 years the Taliban has held him captive.”
Safiullah Padshah contributed reporting from Kabul.