After being held by the Taliban affiliated Haqqani network for 5 years, the newly free Canadian-American couple describe the horrific conditions the endured.
The Canadian-American family that was held hostage for five years by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated insurgent group in Afghanistan, described the circumstances they were held in as a 'Kafkaesque nightmare,' and husband Joshua Boyle said his "children have seen their mother defiled.”
The family was rescued on Thursday after Pakistani security forces ambushed their captors. The family remains in an undisclosed, but safe, location in Pakistan, according to US officials, after Boyle refused to board a US transport plane over concerns about his background.
Boyle was formerly married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of Omar Khadr, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, and the son of a prominent Al-Qaeda financier. Omar Khadr — then only 15 years old — was captured by US forces following a firefight that left a US Army Sergeant dead in 2002.
Here are some horrific details about the conditions they faced during their time in captivity, from The Toronto Star:
- They were held in an underground prison
- Boyle has implied that Coleman had been sexually assaulted or raped by their captors
- Coleman gave birth to three children in captivity, and Boyle delivered at least one with a flashlight in his mouth before captors brought them "all [their] postpartum needs."
- Boyle says he tried to "play Beautiful Life" for his kids, referencing the 1997 Italian film "Life is Beautiful" about a father who tries to convince that the concentration camp he and his son are both in during WWII is just pretend
- Boyle says the last thing he heard from his captors while the family was in the trunk of a car during a firefight was "kill the hostages." The captors, however, were killed by Pakistani forces before they could follow through