Government in 'negotiations' over Middlesbrough medic detained by Taliban in Afghanistan

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Home Secretary Suella Braverman has confirmed the government is in "negotiations" over a charity medic from Middlesbrough and two other British men who were arrested by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Kevin Cornwell, 53, from Teesside, was arrested at his hotel in Kabul on 11 January 2023 accused of having an illegal firearm in his hotel room safe.

He is being held, without charge, with two other British men, including the 23-year-old student YouTuber, Miles Routledge, who was previously extracted out of Afghanistan during the fall of Kabul in August 2021, and an unnamed man who managed the hotel for foreign nationals.

Speaking on the Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme on Sky News, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, said: "The government is in negotiations and working hard to ensure people’s safety is upheld. If there are problems and there are safety concerns to British individuals abroad then the FCO will be working actively to ensure people are safe."

The non-profit organisation, Presidium Network, which provides support to communities in crisis, confirmed it is supporting Mr Cornwell and the unnamed man.

Scott Richards, founder of the organisation, told ITV News: "They are in good health. They are safe. They’re not being mistreated or subjected to any unfair handling, which may have been feared by many would occur. That has not been the case and we are pleased to confirm that."

He explained how Mr Cornwell had been working for a charity providing free local healthcare in conjunction with organisations like the UN, Unicef and the World Food Programme.

He added: "That pistol was still with its licence, but we believe during the search itself, that those two objects became separated. We have verified the existence of the licence. We know who it was issued by in the Ministry of Interior and we know the details surrounding it, so we’re quite confident of our position that this is a misunderstanding."

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