Ontario man held by Taliban recovering after ordeal: Trudeau

TORONTO -- An Ontario man freed by the Taliban after being held hostage for five years has yet to return to Canada but is recovering from his ordeal, the prime minister said Wednesday.

See Full Article

Justin Trudeau's comments about Colin Rutherford offered a hint at the condition of the man who was abruptly set free in Afghanistan earlier this week.

"We are continuing to monitor his recovery," Trudeau told reporters while visiting city hall in Toronto. "Obviously a very difficult ordeal for five years. We look forward to him returning to Canada soon."

The Taliban has said it freed Rutherford on Monday "on grounds of humanitarian sympathy and sublime Islamic ethics."

The federal government hasn't said where Rutherford is currently, or when he'll return to his family in Toronto.

Rutherford was on a private vacation in Afghanistan when he was captured by the Taliban in November 2010.

His release was suddenly announced on Monday by Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, who provided few details, but said that the government of Qatar had been involved in bringing about Rutherford's release.

Trudeau publicly acknowledged the role of the Middle Eastern country when discussing Rutherford's case on Wednesday.

"We appreciate the support that the government of Qatar gave," he said. "Everyone worked hard to try and secure Mr. Rutherford's release."

The Taliban has also confirmed Qatar's involvement and has said it had been holding Rutherford in Afghanistan's northeastern Ghazni province.

A local Afghan police chief has said the Canadian's release involved a helicopter landing to scoop Rutherford to freedom as fighter jets flew overhead.

The last indication Rutherford's family had that he was alive came in a 2011 video released by insurgents where he answered questions. An accompanying email accused Rutherford, then 26, of being a spy.

In the video, Rutherford, who is from Toronto, insisted he was not a spy and had travelled to Afghanistan to study historical sites, old buildings and shrines.

Rutherford's brother has called the Canadian's release "incredible news" and has said Rutherford's well-being is a priority.

Rutherford was working as an auditor with the Canadian Circulations Audit Board in Toronto when he went on vacation to Afghanistan.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Pakistan ruling party meets to consider PM successor

    World News CBC News
    The ruling party of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will choose his successor Saturday, a day after Pakistan's Supreme Court removed the premier from office after finding that he and his family concealed their assets, officials said. Source
  • WestJet says some rewards member's profile data leaked online

    Canada News CBC News
    WestJet says it is working with police in Calgary and the RCMP cybercrime unit after some member's profile data was disclosed online. The airline said in a news release Friday night that profile data of some WestJet Rewards members was disclosed online "by an unauthorized third party. Source
  • Feds don't know how Saudi Arabia got Canadian made military vehicles

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The federal government says it’s trying to find out more about reports that Saudi Arabia is using Canadian made military vehicles in clashes with militants. An emailed statement from the government says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is concerned and has asked officials to look into the matter. Source
  • Pedophile ex-priest to live near studio for kids in Massachusetts

    World News Toronto Sun
    A former Massachusetts priest, who was at the centre of Boston’s Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal and was convicted of child sex abuse, was recently released from prison will be living across the street from a children’s dance studio. Source
  • Trump ready to sign Russia sanctions bill, Moscow retaliates

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia that passed Congress with overwhelming support, the White House said Friday. Moscow has already responded, ordering a reduction in the number of U.S. Source
  • Engine trouble forces Air Canada flight to return to Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    An Air Canada flight had to return to Toronto's Pearson airport Friday night due to engine trouble. Air Canada says emergency vehicles were on standby as Flight AC476 landed normally. The flight bound for Ottawa had 175 passengers on board. Source
  • North Korea says second ICBM test puts much of U.S. in range

    World News Toronto Sun
    PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday the second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated his country can hit the U.S. mainland, hours after the launch left analysts concluding that a wide swath of the United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of North Korean weapons. Source
  • Western nations decry Iran space launch; U.S. levies sanctions

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The United States punished Iran on Friday for launching a satellite-carrying rocket into space by hitting six Iranian entities with sanctions targeting the country's ballistic missiles program. Three European nations that helped broker the landmark Iran nuclear deal in 2015 joined the U.S. Source
  • 'Don't be too nice': Trump appears to advocate rough police treatment of suspects

    World News CTV News
    BRENTWOOD, N.Y. -- Talking tough on illegal immigration and violent crime, President Donald Trump appeared Friday to advocate rougher treatment of people in police custody, speaking dismissively of the police practice of shielding the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are being placed in patrol cars. Source
  • 'I feel numb': Marrisa Shen's brother speaks about her death

    Canada News CBC News
    When Marrisa Shen left her Burnaby, B.C., home on July 18, it was nothing out of the ordinary. According to her family, on sunny days the 13-year-old liked to go for walks in Burnaby's Central Park and listen to music. Source