TIME Foreign Policy

New Videos Show Western Couple Held Captive in Afghanistan

Bowe Bergdahl's release has led the families of Josh Boyle and Caitlan Coleman to release videos of the couple, who were captured in Afghanistan

The families of an American and a Canadian who were captured by the Taliban in 2012 are publicizing videos of the couple in an attempt to speed up their release from captivity.

The videos obtained by the Associated Press and published Wednesday show Josh Boyle and Caitlan Coleman in an unknown location, with Coleman wearing a black headscarf and her husband Boyle’s beard long and untrimmed. Both look significantly thinner than photos taken of them before their capture.

Boyle, a Canadian citizen and Coleman, an American, were passing through Afghanistan while traveling through former Soviet Republics including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Coleman, who was pregnant during their travels, checked in regularly with her family at home until communication abruptly stopped on Oct. 8, 2012.

Coleman’s father received the videos in July and September of 2013, the AP reports, emailed from an Afghan man who claimed to have ties to the Taliban.

After the release last week of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the families of the captured couple decided to appeal to the U.S. and Canadian governments for assistance. They said they are disappointed their children were not freed as part of the Bergdahl deal.

“It would be no more appropriate to have our government turn their back on their citizens than to turn their backs on those who serve,” Josh Boyle’s father Patrick Boyle said.

The families have not received any ransom demands, and it’s unclear when or where the videos were filmed.


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