Woodhall Spa journalist Peter Jouvenal one of five Brits released by Taliban

A journalist from the Woodhall Spa area is one of five Britons who have been released after they were captured by the Taliban.

A headshot of Peter Jouvenal, taken during his time working in Afghanistan.
A headshot of Peter Jouvenal, taken during his time working in Afghanistan.

Former BBC cameraman Peter Jouvenal was one of five British people arrested by the Taliban last year after the invasion of Afghanistan.

After months of campaigning by his friends and family, it was confirmed yesterday (Monday) that Peter and the four other Brits had been freed and were on their way home.

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More than 114,000 people signed a petition to appeal for Peter and his fellow Brits’ release.

A statement from his family and friends read: “It has been an arduous time for the captives, and many people from around the world have joined this campaign to mark their solidarity. I know that your signatures meant a lot to Peter’s wife, Hassina, and his three daughters, bolstering their spirits on the many dark days they have had without Peter. This campaign showed that a lot of people cared about Peter's incarceration, and it did have an impact.“It will no doubt take a lot of time for these five men to decompress and process what they have been through. But they will be back where they should be, with their families, and those who matter to them.”Thanks were also paid to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for their negotiations with the Taliban through their office in Doha, Qatar. “To all of you who worked towards today’s result, I also say thanks.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement on Twitter: “Pleased the UK has secured the release of five British nationals detained in Afghanistan. They will soon be reunited with their families. I am grateful for the hard work of British diplomats to secure this outcome.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office would not confirm the names of the men released, but a spokesperson also said: “We welcome and appreciate the release by the current administration of Afghanistan of five British nationals who were detained in Afghanistan.

“These British nationals had no role in the UK Government’s work in Afghanistan and travelled to Afghanistan against the UK Government’s travel advice. This was a mistake.

“On behalf of the families of the British nationals, we express their apologies for any breach of Afghan culture, customs or laws, and offer their assurance of future good conduct.

“The UK Government regrets this episode.”

Peter is married to Hassina Syed, a Afghan businesswoman and political activist who was caught up in the terrifying seizure of Kabul by the Taliban in August 2021 (read our exclusive interview with Hassina here).