Former Taliban hostage Boyle arrested for 15 charges including assault

This file photo taken on October 14, 2017 shows freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talking on the phone outside the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Former Taliban hostage Boyle arrested for 15 charges including assault

MONTREAL: A Canadian man who was held captive by a faction of the Afghan Taliban for five years has been arrested on 15 charges including sexual assault, illegal confinement and issuing death threats, according to reports on Tuesday.
Joshua Boyle was freed last October along with his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three children born in captivity.
The identity of the alleged victim was being withheld by a court, according to Boyle’s lawyer Eric Granger.
Granger added his client was “presumed innocent” and had never been in any form of legal trouble before.
“We look forward to receiving the evidence and defending him against these charges,” he said, adding Boyle would appear before a court in Ottawa on Wednesday.
According to news channel CTV, Boyle is facing eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of unlawful confinement, as well as one each of misleading police to “divert suspicion from himself,” uttering a death threat, and administering a noxious substance, Trazodone.
In a statement to The Toronto Star and published on the newspaper’s website, Boyle’s wife would not comment on the specific charges “but I can say that ultimately it is the strain and trauma he was forced to endure for so many years and the effects that that had on his mental state that is most culpable for this.”
She said “with compassion and forgiveness that I... hope help and healing can be found for him.”
Coleman added that she and the children were healthy.
Boyle and Coleman, who have been married since 2011, were kidnapped by the Taliban during what they described as a backpacking trip through war-torn Afghanistan in 2012, and were later transferred to the custody of the Haqqani faction, known for its alleged ties to the Pakistani military.
They were freed on October 12, but refused to board a US military plane. Boyle, a Muslim convert and long-time advocate of freed Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr, cited fears over his background.
Upon his arrival in Toronto two days later Boyle accused his captors of raping his wife and killing his baby daughter, a fourth child — allegations swiftly refuted by the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Mujahid admitted a baby had died but said it was a result of a natural miscarriage.
A month later Coleman also spoke of a sexual “assault” by two of her captors in an interview with ABC news.
Boyle has been an outspoken advocate for Omar Khadr, a Canadian captured at the age of 15 in 2002 in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo Bay before being transferred to Canada and later released.
He married Khadr’s sister in 2009.
Pakistan’s military says the family was freed in a daring rescue operation.
But some US and Canadian officials have questioned that account, suggesting to news outlets it may have involved a “negotiated handover” with the Haqqani network which Islamabad is said to covertly back.


Police in Philippine town on the rack for anti-rape advice

The mainly Catholic Philippines, a former US colony, prides itself on its culture of promoting gender equality. (REUTERS)
Updated 31 min 25 sec ago
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Police in Philippine town on the rack for anti-rape advice

  • Nationwide rape cases were down 29 percent from a year earlier in the first three months of 2018 but did not give figures
  • Philippine police chief Oscar Albayalde sought to play down the rape advice controversy

MANILA: Police in a Philippine town have told women to shun skimpy clothing to avoid rape, sparking outrage in a country that prides itself as an early Asian adopter of liberal Western cultural values.
Women’s groups demanded that police take down Tuesday’s “victim-blaming” anti-rape advice. But it remained on a police social media site Wednesday, with the national police chief calling it “brotherly advice.”
“Don’t wear skimpy clothing,” warned the 10-point posting on the official Facebook page of the police force of Angono, a town on Manila’s outskirts.
“When on a date, don’t drink alcohol,” read the list, which also urged women to learn self-defense, carry tear gas or pepper spray and not to walk alone in the dark.
“Clothes don’t cause rape, rapists do,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Instead of ‘teaching’ women how to dress ‘appropriately’ and limit our choices, our police force should help in educating the public, especially men,” she added.
The mainly Catholic Philippines, a former US colony, prides itself on its culture of promoting gender equality.
But critics allege it took a step backward by electing President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his inflammatory remarks about women.
During the 2016 election campaign Duterte joked during a speech that he “should have been first” while recalling the rape and murder of an Australian female lay minister in a 1989 prison riot.
Early this year Duterte said he would tell soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in their private parts because “if there is no vagina, (the woman) has no use.”
Philippine police chief Oscar Albayalde sought to play down the rape advice controversy.
“They (women) can have it their own way, they just have to make precautions and probably you should dress in accordance with the place, with the occasion,” he told reporters.
“I think that’s what our policemen are trying to say, just brotherly advice,” said Albayalde.
He said nationwide rape cases were down 29 percent from a year earlier in the first three months of 2018 but did not give figures.