British NGO Chief Arrested Then Freed by Taliban in Bid to Evacuate Afghan Staff

UK

Ben Slater revealed plans earlier this week to take some 400 Afghan citizens, including single women unaccompanied by male relatives, out of the country by road into another country he declined to name. He claimed the British government had abandoned them in Kabul.

The Taliban* has released a British head of several charities in Afghanistan after he tried to drive a coach-load of his staff out of the country.

Former Army Military Policeman Ben Slater told The Daily Telegraph he was detained for several hours on Thursday morning after reaching the border the day before.

He said Taliban authorities questioned him as to why single women among his group were staying in hotels without male relatives accompanying them. On release, he was allowed to cross, but with only one other person.

Slater did not reveal which border he attempted to cross. But Afghanistan’s neighbours have in recent days closed their frontiers to would-be asylum-seekers — including Commonwealth member Pakistan, which is currently hosting 3.5 million refugees from the 20-year war.

Slater told The Telegraph on Monday that he was attempting to take some 400 Afghan citizens, including 50 staff from his Nomad Concepts Group of NGOs, from Kabul to an unnamed third country. He claimed the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office had denied them visas during last week’s chaotic evacuation from the Afghan capital, saying he felt “massively let down”.

The US decision last month to…

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