Captives have harrowing tale

A Pennsylvania woman and her Canadian husband who spent the last five years as prisoners of Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan were rescued this week.

Their captors took them into Pakistan. Because U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking them, American officials enlisted the Pakistani government in a successful recovery operation.

The five-person family — man, wife and three children born in captivity — are home now in Canada.

Joshua Boyle and his pregnant wife Caitlin Coleman were captured five years ago while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan. It’s not exactly clear why they were trekking in such a hazardous place, but Boyle does have some connections with the Muslim world. He was once married to the sister of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, whose father was a financier for al Qaida.

Their treatment while in captivity was horrendous. Boyle, upon returning to Canada, accused his captors, the Haqqani network, of murdering their newborn daughter and raping his wife. The children grew up knowing only the life of a prisoner — locked in small cells, transported from place to place in car trunks, using buckets for toilets.

Whatever ideology Boyle and his wife may harbor, his family’s treatment was inhumane and criminal. The Haqqani network and other Taliban militant groups deserve to be judged as criminals and treated with the same regard they gave their prisoners.

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