Once evacuated pro-Taliban British traveler returns to Afghanistan, now under arrest

Miles Rutledge has over 150k followers on twitter. File photo

London: Britain’s ‘dangerous tourist’ who was held by the Taliban traveled to Afghanistan to ‘find himself’ even after being evacuated once by the British army during the ‘Kabul Airlift’, his mother has revealed after talking to him for the first time since January 11, the day of his detention.

The Taliban also reportedly arrested Kevin Cornwell, a doctor and an unnamed hotel manager in addition to 23-year-old Miles Rutledge.

Rutledge is a self-proclaimed thrill-seeker “dangerous tourist” who has trekked to many of the world’s riskiest nations.

According to reports, he visited Afghanistan in August 2021, despite the Taliban taking over. He attracted a lot of attention and scorn on social media.

He is said to have gone there for a “holiday” and was drawn into the chaos of the Taliban takeover. He later returned to the country after being evacuated by the British Armed Forces during the Kabul airlift, then traveled again. It is not known how long Rutledge was held.

Distraught family members are campaigning for the group’s release, and they are currently being held for questioning.

Suella Braverman, the interior minister, said on Sunday morning that the Taliban and the government were “in talks”.

Interior Minister Suella Braverman said on Sunday that “anyone traveling to dangerous areas of the globe should be extremely careful.

“If they intend to do this, they should follow the Foreign Office travel guidance at all times.

“If there are threats to people’s safety, the UK government will take all necessary steps to make sure they are safe if they are British citizens abroad,” she said.

“And to ensure that people’s safety is maintained, the government is negotiating diligently,” she added.

Meanwhile, Rutledge’s mother told Sky News. “It’s so worrying. I just want help to find out what happened to him and make sure he’s OK,” she said.

“If he’s being treated well, that’s good to hear, as long as he’s being treated well. If I can send a message to those holding him, I just want to ask them to let him know he has my love and support.

Ms Routledge added that no one from the Foreign Office had contacted her and she was “desperate” to know that Miles was safe.

“I don’t know who has it or where it is,” she added.

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department (FCDO) said: “We are working hard to ensure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and are supporting the families.”

After being called an “idiot” for having to be evacuated when Afghanistan returned to Taliban control, Miles’ heartbroken mother said his passion for travel had led him to return to the country.

“He continues to travel because he enjoys it; he is still young and only now, after graduating from university, is he beginning to find himself. She said: “I just want him to be safe.”

However, the Taliban government claimed that the trio of boys were involved in “suspicious activities”.

Meanwhile, Scott Richards, chief executive of the Presidium Network, a British non-profit organization that works in conflict zones, said in a statement: “We can confirm that the men have spoken to their families, that the conversation was natural and that they were treated just who helps Mr. Cornwell’s family and the hotel manager.

“The families were able to talk to them for about two minutes and they were able to speak freely. It was obviously an important and emotional call and represents a huge step forward in the situation,” he said, adding that the details of those calls are private.

“The relief that Kevin’s family expressed after hearing his voice for the first time in three months of not knowing if he was OK brought a sense of peace and gave them hope that this situation would be resolved soon.”

Date Updated: 03 Apr 2023 13:18:08 IST

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