The eight foreign Christians, six of them women, were identified as citizens of Germany, the United States and Australia. All were serving on the staff of the German-based Shelter Now International (SNI) organization. Another 16 Afghan staff employed by SNI in its relief work in Kabul were also arrested and apparently jailed separately from the foreigners.
On August 13, the Associated Press reported that although long awaited visas were approved for Australian, German and American diplomats, the Afghan Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil has said diplomats will not be allowed access to the imprisoned aid workers. They will instead only meet with officials in Kabul.
Reportedly three of the detained women were sighted August 8, outside their homes in the capital. According to an Associated Press report filed August 9 from Kabul, the three women shrouded in black chadors were under escort by armed Taliban guards and were later seen carrying away suitcases from their homes.
Taliban officials identified by name all eight foreigners, which included SNI's German director Georg Taubmann. But at least one of the Americans was misidentified, since one woman named had left the country before the arrests occurred and is currently in the United States.
The Taliban's so-called religious police arrested two young women on August 3, reportedly "caught red-handed" after showing a film about Christianity to an ...1