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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Special Report
Former Taliban hostage Joshua Boyle charged with sex assault
    2018-January-5  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

A CANADIAN man held captive by a Taliban-linked group for five years was arrested Monday in Ottawa on charges of assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement, among others.

Joshua Boyle, 34, and wife Caitlan Coleman were abducted by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in 2012 during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan. Pakistani forces freed the family, including the couple’s three children born in captivity, during an October military raid, after which they returned to Canada.

According to the Toronto Star, Boyle now faces 15 charges in all, including eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, one count of uttering death threats, one count of misleading the police and one count of causing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone,” according to a court document.

The alleged incidents occurred between the time Boyle arrived in Canada on Oct. 14 and Dec. 30. A publication ban bars reporting any information that could identify the alleged victims or witnesses in the case. Boyle remains in police custody.

“This is an individual obviously we all know has been through a lot, is an individual otherwise who hasn’t been in trouble before, and he’s presumed innocent of these charges,” his attorney, Eric Granger, told CTV News.

In a statement to the Toronto Star, Boyle’s wife wrote, “I can’t speak about the specific charges, but I can say that ultimately it is the strain and trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this.”

“Obviously, he is responsible for his own actions,” she added. “But it is with compassion and forgiveness that I say I hope help and healing can be found for him. As to the rest of us, myself and the children, we are healthy and holding up as well as we can.”

Very little is known about Boyle and Coleman’s movements in Kabul, the Afghan capital, in the days before they were kidnapped. The pair had been traveling in central Asia for a number of months before going missing, reportedly in the Wardak province — a mountainous region just 40 kilometers from Kabul that is a known haven for the Taliban.

From sources in Kabul, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, the couple didn’t leave much of an impression beyond the fact that they seemed excited about the prospect of traveling in Afghanistan.

They sent their last email to their family Oct. 8, 2012, telling them they were in an “unsafe area.” The next day, they reportedly withdrew money from their bank account, which they could only have done in Kabul. The day after that, they were kidnapped.

Boyle wouldn’t talk about the moment he and Coleman were abducted, citing ongoing police investigations. At a press conference upon their return to Canada, Boyle said he and his wife had been attempting to help villagers in remote parts of Afghanistan and referred to himself as a “pilgrim.”

The Associated Press reported Boyle and Coleman, who was seven months pregnant when being kidnapped, planned to come back from their travels in December of that year, about two months after they last contacted family, in time for Coleman to give birth.

Coleman’s father, James Coleman, told reporters in 2012 it was possible the couple may not have realized how dangerous an area they were heading to.

“They’re both kind of naive, always have been in my view. Why they actually went to Afghanistan, I’m not sure… I assume it was more of the same, getting to know the local people, if they could find an NGO or someone they could work with in a little way,” he said.

But Boyle’s interest in the region and his connections to it go deeper than adventure-seeking with his wife.

Boyle has developed a fascination with terrorism, Canadian counterterrorism and security.

“Anything related to terrorism on Wikipedia, I wrote, pretty much,” the University of Waterloo graduate told the Globe and Mail in May 2009.

He also had an interest in the family of Omar Khadr — the Canadian who was captured in Afghanistan and detained at Guantanamo Bay from 2002, when he was just 15, until he was returned to Canada in 2012.

He married Omar Khadr’s oldest sister, Zaynab Khadr, a prominent and outspoken figure herself. The older sister was so outspoken that, in a 2009 profile, Maclean’s reported her younger brother’s lawyers “repeatedly begged her to keep quiet.”

In that same article it was noted Boyle was Khadr’s third husband, but it was the first of her marriages that was not arranged by her late father, Ahmed Said Khadr, who was killed in a 2003 shootout with Pakistani forces near the border with Afghanistan.

One of her marriages was attended by Osama bin Laden, according to Khadr herself.

They met on the Internet: he emailed her in 2008 and “to introduce himself and offer support,” according to the 2009 Globe and Mail article.

The Globe and Mail reported he attended the hearings of one of her other brothers — Abdullah, who was facing extradition to the United States on terrorism charges, but was later ordered free by an Ontario judge.

Boyle reportedly played a role in organizing Khadr’s 2008 hunger strike on Parliament Hill, to protest her brother’s detention.

They got married in January 2009 and lived together in Toronto, along with her daughter from her second marriage. The marriage didn’t last long, though. They divorced in 2010.

Boyle then he moved to Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, where he and Coleman lived until they took off traveling in 2012 and took a job at the now-shuttered Thing5 call center, according to the Victoria Star. Terry Ritchie, the mayor of Perth-Andover, wrote in a 2013 Facebook post that Boyle’s “co-workers here knew he had converted or was converting to Islam.”

Officials had dismissed Boyle’s marriage to Khadr as having any sort of connection to his capture, with one describing it in 2014 as a “horrible coincidence.”

Following their rescue in October, Boyle refused to board a U.S. transport plane, according to U.S. national security. He later issued a statement after landing in Canada, stating the Haqqani network in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter in captivity and brutally raped his wife, and asked the Afghan Government to bring his kidnappers to justice.

Boyle told The Associated Press in October that his wife had been hospitalized in Ottawa, but did not specify why she was taken to the hospital.

“My wife has been through hell, and she has to be my first priority right now,” Boyle wrote then.

Coleman had a miscarriage after she was pregnant again in captivity. Boyle claims it was a forced abortion resulting from some drug in the food offered by the guards, a charge both the Taliban and Haqqani have denied.

The loss of their second child hit Boyle hard, he said. He ratcheted up the vitriol and began accusing Abdurrahman, the commander assigned to oversee them, of murder. Two months later, Boyle said, Abdurrahman and two of his men had enough of his accusations. They decided to teach Boyle a lesson: they raped Coleman.

After returning to his home country, Boyle said he and his family would focus on their lives in Canada.

“Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home, to focus on edification and to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost,” he said.

Boyle told reporters that he and his wife decided to have children even while held captive because they always planned to have a big family, thinking: “Hey, let’s make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family.”

“We’re sitting as hostages with a lot of time on our hands,” Boyle added. “We always wanted as many as possible, and we didn’t want to waste time. Cait’s in her 30s, the clock is ticking.”

Boyle said then that their three children were 4, 2 and “somewhere around 6 months.” “Honestly we’ve always planned to have a family of 5, 10, 12 children. ... We’re Irish, haha,” he wrote in an email in October.(SD-Agencies)

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