Three British nationals including ‘danger tourist’ held by Taliban in Afghanistan
Three British men are being held in the custody of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
One includes so-called “danger tourist” Miles Routledge, Sky News reports. Mr Routledge was previously evacuated from Afghanistan by the British armed forces in August 2021, but recently decided to return.
One other British national has been identified as charity medic Kevin Cornwell. The third has not been named but is understood to be a UK national managing a hotel in Kabul.
Mr Cornwell - 53 - was arrested at his hotel by officers from the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) in January. He is accused of possessing an illegal firearm, kept in the safe in his room. However, his family have reported that he had been granted a licence for it.
“I’ve seen the Taliban, I’ve been speaking to the locals who have seen them kill people, beat people up for not wearing burqas or for wearing eyeliner or mascara,” Mr Routledge told The Spectator after he was safely evacuated to Dubai in 2021.
Mr Routledge’s Twitter states that he goes “to the most dangerous places on Earth for fun”, listing off recent destinations as Afghanistan, South Sudan and Ukraine.
In February, he tweeted that if he was ever placed on a “no fly list”, he would take an “Uber to Afghanistan.”
If I ever get on a no fly list, I will Uber to Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/eViwyPfsDq
— Lord Miles (@real_lord_miles) February 10, 2023
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told The Independent that it is “working hard to secure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are supporting families.”
“We engage pragmatically with the Taliban on HMG priorities, including consular cases like these, human rights, counter-terrorism and humanitarian. HMG policy is to recognise states, not governments”, it added.
“We continue to advise against all travel to Afghanistan based on the security risks, including detention.”
The Independent recently launched a petition calling for the UK to support Afghan war heroes who served alongside British forces.
Notably, an Afghan war veteran who served alongside British armed forces is among those who have fled to the UK on small boats and are now being threatened with deportation to Rwanda.