Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle demands justice from the Afghan government | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle demands justice from the Afghan government

Joshua Boyle, centre arrives to speak to media from a secure location after arriving at the airport in Toronto on Friday, October 13, 2017. Boyle, His wife and and three children had been held hostage for five years by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
October 14, 2017 - 8:00 PM

TORONTO - Former Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle has demanded that the Afghanistan government bring his kidnappers to justice for the "murder" of his infant daughter and the rape of his wife while they were in captivity.

A tired-looking Boyle read a brief statement to the media late Friday after arriving in Toronto with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three young children. The family was freed by Pakistani commandos on Wednesday.

Boyle lambasted the "stupidity and the evil" of his kidnappers, members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, for abducting both him and his pregnant wife while they were helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan.

The Haqqani leadership authorized the murder of his infant daughter in retaliation for his refusal to accept an offer from the kidnappers, said Boyle, who did not elaborate on the offer. He also condemned his kidnappers for engaging in a brutal rape of his wife.

"Not as a lone action by one guard, but assisted by the captain of the guard and supervised by the commandant ... of the Haqqani network." Boyle said.

"God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network."

Boyle said the Afghan government should provide his family the justice that they are owed.

"I certainly do not intend to allow a brutal and sacrilegious gang of criminal miscreants to dictate the future direction of my family not to weaken my family's commitment to do the right thing no matter the cost."

Boyle said he and his wife will want to focus on building a life for their three surviving children, all of whom were born in captivity.

"Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children, to call a home, to focus on edification and to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost."

The final leg of the family's journey was an Air Canada flight from London to Toronto.

Coleman, wearing a tan-coloured headscarf, sat in the aisle of the business class cabin. She nodded wordlessly when she confirmed her identity to a reporter on board the flight. In the two seats next to her were her two elder children. In the seat beyond that was Boyle, with their youngest child in his lap. U.S. State Department officials were on the plane with them.

Boyle gave The Associated Press a handwritten statement expressing disagreement with U.S. foreign policy.

"God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination, and to allow that to stagnate, to pursue personal pleasure or comfort while there is still deliberate and organized injustice in the world would be a betrayal of all I believe, and tantamount to sacrilege," he wrote.

He nodded to one of the State Department officials and said, "Their interests are not my interests."

He added that one of his children is in poor health and had to be force-fed by their Pakistani rescuers.

The family was able to leave from the plane with their escorts before the rest of the passengers. There was about a five-to-10-minute delay before everyone else was allowed out.

The Canadian government said in a statement that it joined the Boyle family "in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones."

The couple were kidnapped in Afghanistan in October 2012 while on a backpacking trip.

On Thursday, officials in Pakistan said the family had been rescued in "an intelligence-based operation" after their captors moved them across the border from Afghanistan.

The release came nearly five years to the day since Boyle and Coleman lost touch with their families while travelling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The couple had set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan.

Coleman's parents last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Boyle described as an "unsafe" part of Afghanistan.

— With files from The Associated Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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