Family of Man Allegedly Kidnapped by the Taliban Urges UN for Help

American Ryan Corbett’s lawyers have petitioned a UN human rights investigator to step in on behalf of their client, who has reportedly been kept captive by the Taliban for over two years.

After returning to Afghanistan on August 10, 2022, Corbett was kidnapped. He and his family had lived there after the fall of the U.S.-backed government a year before. His business endeavor, which he spearheaded, sought to promote Afghanistan’s private sector via consulting services and loans. He came on a legal 12-month visa to pay and train people.

Corbett has been transferred to several jails since then, but according to his attorneys, no one other than his fellow inmates has seen him since last December. The attorneys for Corbett filed a petition on Thursday alleging that their client has been subjected to threats of physical abuse and torture, has gone hungry and untreated, and has spent time in solitary confinement, including in a basement cell that gets very little light and does not allow him to exercise. According to the attorneys, his mental and physical health have taken a nosedive.

Since his incarceration, Corbett has had five phone conversations with his family, the most recent of which was last month. Two check-ins by an unaffiliated state delegation have been his only visits. Accounts from newly freed inmates who were around him and his visibly depressed tone in talks form the basis of their portrayal of his torture.

A special rapporteur on torture for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Alice Edwards, specializing in human rights abuses, is the recipient of the petition. The document requests that Edwards immediately contact the Taliban to facilitate Mr. Corbett’s release and freedom from torture, as guaranteed by international law.

After designating Corbett as an erroneously detained individual, the United States government is taking independent actions to return him to his home.