Canada asks Taliban to free couple held for 4 years

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Ottawa, Dec 20 (IANS) Canada has called for the unconditional release of a Canadian man and his American wife after a new video appeared showing them begging their governments to intervene on their behalf with their Afghan captors.

The video, which was uploaded on YouTube, shows Canadian Joshua Boyle and American Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. The video showed for the first time the two sons of the couple.

Canadian Global Affairs spokesman Michael O’Shaughnessy on Tuesday said his government was aware of the video released on Monday.

“We are deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their young children and call for their unconditional release,” O’Shaughnessy was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying.

In the video, Coleman refers to “the Kafkaesque nightmare in which we find ourselves” and urges “governments on both sides” to reach a deal for their freedom.

“We can only ask and pray that somebody will recognise the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy.”

The US State Department said it was reviewing the footage.

The video came to public attention through the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors activities of armed groups online. Site said it was dated December 3.

The two vanished after setting off in the summer of 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan.

Coleman, 31, was pregnant when the couple was abducted.

Her parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, last heard from their son-in-law on October 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Josh described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.

–IANS

ahm/vt

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