Things appear to be looking up for Miles Routledge, the Brit who hit headlines for making a habit of travelling to warzones including Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Just a few days ago, Routledge, who is originally from Birmingham, pictured himself in tears, saying he was stuck in Pakistan after he’d run out of money.
He can’t have been that stuck, however, as he’s now popped up in Afghanistan and claimed he is accepting hospitality from the Taliban.
He tweeted yesterday (27 April): “TEA WITH THE TALIBAN! Im in Afghanistan, walked into Taliban residency by accident and after talking they gave me food, tea and even offered for me to stay the night. They are so kind!”
His original tweet was met with a healthy dose of scepticism, with one user writing: “This dude really found standard Afghans with good hospitality and thought they were the Taliban.”
Defending his claims, Routledge offered a longer explanation of how he came to be breaking bread with members of a military group notorious for its human rights abuses, ranging from limiting women and girls’ access to education and depriving many of their freedom of movement, expression and association.
He tweeted: “People are lying and saying these aren't Taliban, let me explain.
“The Taliban is the Afghanistan gov, my old hotel from August is now Taliban housing, these men are Taliban and the more senior Taliban did not want to be on camera which is chill. They told me they were Taliban.
“And they are. They aren't dressed constantly in military clothes, they shouldn't meet a stereotype etc. I'm here, I'm speaking to people, I know who's who.”
The Taliban are now apparently Routledge’s mates, with him saying in another tweet ‘they have been very kind to me and I consider them friends’.
Since the Taliban took back power in Afghanistan in 2021, they have plunged the country into chaos.
As reported by the Guardian, United Nations data suggests half a million people have lost their jobs since the regime change and by mid-year, 97 percent of people in the country could be living below the poverty line.
Human Rights Watch has reported that there have been executions and enforced disappearances of former government officials.
Patricia Gossman, an associate Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told the Guardian: “Revenge killings, crushing women’s rights, strangling the media – the Taliban seem determined to tighten their grip on society, even as the situation grows increasingly unstable in the coming months.”
But at least they apparently treated Routledge to a good spread, eh?
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@real_lord_miles
Topics: World News