The Taliban in Afghanistan have detained 18 members of a Swiss-registered non-profit, including a foreign national for allegedly preaching Christianity, Report informs referring to the Independent.
The International Assistance Mission (IMA) said the staffers were picked up on two separate occasions this month from its office in central Ghor province and taken to the capital, Kabul.
“At this time, we have no information about the nature of allegations against our staff and are, therefore, unable to comment or speculate about this ongoing situation,” the group said in a statement.
“However, should any charges be lodged against our organization or any individual staff member, we will independently review any evidence presented,” the group added.
Two of the IMA’s Afghan staff and one US national were taken from its Ghor office on September 3, according to local media reports.
A further 15 Afghan national staff members were taken from the same office on 13 September.
The non-profit said it had raised its concerns in a letter to the ministry of economy where the group was legally registered.
The group was also working with the United Nations and ACBAR, the coordinating body for non-profits in Afghanistan, to “deepen our understanding of the situation and to work for the quick release of our 18 colleagues”.
The mission’s website describes the organization as based on Christian values, but the officials said it values and respects Afghanistan’s customs and cultures. IAM added that it stands by the principle that aid will not be used to further a “particular political or religious” point of view.