Kabul [Afghanistan], June 14 (TN): An Austrian man, who visited Afghanistan early this year, is presently detained in the country, Khaama Press reported citing the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
The government verified in an email response to a question about the matter that the individual travelled to Afghanistan in May and was detained there. Austria has long recommended against visiting Afghanistan, it was mentioned in the email.
The details of the man’s identity and other information were not revealed due to data protection concerns. It did, however, declare that it has been “actively seeking a solution” since learning of the arrest and has been in contact with the man’s family on a regular basis.
According to the Austrian daily Der Standard cited by Khaama Press, the man was a veteran far-right extremist in his 80s and a co-founder of the National Democratic organisation, a minor far-right organisation banned in 1988.
According to the report, he has been arrested for several weeks after a far-right journal published an article titled “Vacation with the Taliban” in which he provided a positive depiction of life in Afghanistan under Taliban control. According to reports, he is being detained for spying, and Austrian neo-Nazis have made his case public through Telegram channels.
Khaama Press cited a Der Standard report which said that the Austrian, identified as Herbert F, had a history of visiting dangerous places, including Afghanistan in the 1980s and Kurdish forces fighting the ISIS group in northern Syria a few years ago.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, following the overthrow of the previous government and the withdrawal of Western soldiers.
Since then, the de facto authorities have not been recognised as the country’s legitimate government, and the international community conditioned their recognition on several factors, including respecting human rights and women’s rights, cutting ties with terrorist outlets, stopping drug trafficking and forming an inclusive government in the country, Khaama Press reported. (TN)