Taliban release video of Canadian hostage

Canadian hostage Colin Rutherford

KABUL — (AFP) The Taliban have released a video of a Canadian national kidnapped in Afghanistan and said he could face trial in one of their courts.
The militant Islamists say they captured Colin Rutherford in the central province of Ghazni and accuse him of being a spy.
It is not clear when he went missing but Canada confirmed the situation in February and said that the 26-year-old travelled to Afghanistan as a tourist.
It is also unknown when the two-and-half minute video was shot but it showed a clean-shaven Rutherford answering questions posed by an unseen interrogator.
"I was treated humanely," he said flatly, in response to a question about his treatment in captivity.
Asked why he visited war-torn Afghanistan, he said: "History, historical sites, old buildings, shrines." He denied working for the Canadian government.
In a statement emailed to media Sunday along with the video, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said the insurgents "once again call on the Canadian government to take immediate action to solve this issue or the hostage could face trial."
The Canadian foreign affairs department said in a statement that it was "aware the Taliban issued a press release, including a link to a video".
"Colin Rutherford, a Canadian citizen, is missing in Afghanistan after travelling to the country as a tourist," it said.
"Canadian officials are working with Afghan authorities to assist the family in securing the safe release of their loved one."
Kidnapping of Westerners is a lucrative business for insurgents in Afghanistan.
In one of the most prominent cases, two French journalists have been held since December 2009 after being captured in an area northwest of Kabul.