News / Canada

Canadian hostage children seen in just released Taliban video

A Canadian held hostage in Afghanistan since 2012 and his family are living a ‘Kafkaesque nightmare,’ according to a video released by a Taliban-linked group.

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle are shown with their children in a newly released image. Both boys were born in captivity.

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Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle are shown with their children in a newly released image. Both boys were born in captivity.

A video showing the two children of Canadian captive Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman for the first time was posted online Monday as Coleman describes what they call their “Kafkaesque nightmare.”

The family has been held by the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network since 2012 — both boys born in captivity.

Coleman says the video was made Dec. 3 and as they ask for their freedom she says both her children “have seen their mother defiled.

“We understand both sides hate us,” she says. “And are content to leave us and our two surviving children in these problems…We ask quickly that in our collective fourteenth year of prison, urge the governments on both sides to reach some agreement to allow us freedom.”

Boyle, 33, and Coleman, 31, were kidnapped near Kabul during a backpacking trip through Central Asia in October 2012. Coleman was five months pregnant at the time and gave birth to their son in custody. They had a second boy in 2015, after what Boyle told his parents was a “7 ½ month surreptitious pregnancy.”

Boyle delivered his second son in the darkness by flashlight. “Ta-da!” he wrote in correspondence seen by the Toronto Star. “The astonished captors were good and brought all our post-partum needs, so he is now fat and healthy, praise God.”

Boyle’s writings, delivered through intermediaries and written in his tiny penmanship, provided a glimpse into his family’s life in captivity.

“We are trying to keep spirits high for the children and play Beautiful Life,” he wrote.

Boyle’s parents believe this is a reference to the movie in which a father protects his son from the brutalities of a Nazi concentration camp by pretending it is just a game. The writings also had references to the boys, along with Stompin’ Tom Connors lyrics and Mother Teresa quotes, International Space Station and Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Merton poems.

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