In a harrowing statement delivered to members of the press at Toronto Pearson International Airport late Friday, Joshua Boyle, the Canadian hostage recently recovered from the Taliban, painted a rather bleak picture of his family’s captivity. “The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani network’s kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter, Martyr Boyle,” he said.
Boyle and his then-pregnant wife, Caitlan Coleman, were captured by the Taliban near Kabul in the Wardak province in 2012. The pair of avid travelers were backpacking through the region with the intention of reaching Russia when they were taken. Five years later, Coleman had given birth to her first child — as well as two others — before the family was rescued by Pakistani troops acting on U.S. intelligence. As for the murdered child Martyr, whom Boyle referenced during his comments, CNN reports family sources indicate her captors forced Coleman to have an abortion.
Boyle also confirmed something Coleman had referred to in a prior video taken by their captors, in which she said they had “defiled” her. Telling reporters the Taliban raped his wife, the Canadian said it was “not… a lone action by one guard, but [was] assisted by the captain of the guard and supervised by the commandant.”