In light of the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the families of a young married couple being held captive by the Taliban want the world to know their children still aren't free.
Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman have been in the custody of the Taliban for roughly 20 months now. They were captured during an ill-advised trip they took to the mountains of Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman was pregnant during the trip, and it is believed the couple has an 18-month-old baby being held captive as well.
The parents of Boyle and Coleman received video footage from the couple recently pleading for world governments to negotiate a release on their behalf. Due to the attention that recently rescued Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is receiving, the families think now was an ideal time to go public with their story.
“I am prisoner of the Taliban,” Coleman says in the video. “I would ask that my family and my government do everything that they can to bring my husband, child and I to safety and freedom.”
“We request the American government do what is necessary to bring our family together in safety and freedom,” Boyle added.
Here is footage from the released video:
The couple’s parents are frustrated that their children were not included in Bergdahl’s negotiated release. Boyle’s father, Canadian judge Patrick Boyle, says his son and his son’s wife are “innocent tourists” that deserve their countries protection just as much as an armed services member.
“It would be no more appropriate to have our government turn their backs on their citizens than to turn their backs on those who serve,” he said.
James Coleman, Caitlan’s father, echoed those sentiments.
“It’s an event that just stands out,” he said. “I think it cries out to the world ‘this can’t be. These people must be let go immediately.’”
Both U.S. and Canadian officials are aware of the couple’s situation. The U.S. government declined to say what, if any, steps they plan to take to rescue Boyle and Coleman. Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, a spokesperson for Canada’s foreign affairs department, said officials are currently working with Afghan authorities.