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

  • Why some fear a 'Polexit' from European Union

    World News CTV News
    WARSAW, POLAND -- Poland is a focus of European attention this week, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addressing the European Parliament on Tuesday and leaders at a European Union summit expected later this week to grapple with a legal conundrum created by a recent ruling by Poland's constitutional court. Source
  • Committee probing Jan. 6 siege on U.S. Capitol plans contempt vote for Trump ally Steve Bannon

    World News CBC News
    The U.S House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was moving swiftly Tuesday to hold at least one of Donald Trump's allies in contempt as the former president pushes back on the probe in a new lawsuit. Source
  • Grand jury hearing testimony in death of Robert Durst's wife

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- New York prosecutors have gone to a grand jury as they seek to indict millionaire real estate scion Robert Durst for the death of his former wife, Kathie Durst, who vanished in 1982, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Source
  • FBI at Russian oligarch's home for 'law enforcement' action

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Federal agents conducted "law enforcement activity" on Tuesday at a Washington mansion owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agents were carrying out "court-authorized law enforcement activity," an agency spokesperson said. Source
  • Husky Energy facing 3 charges for massive SeaRose oil spill off coast of N.L.

    Canada News CBC News
    Husky Energy is facing three charges for a massive spill of crude oil into the Atlantic Ocean in November 2018. The 250,000-litre spill — the largest in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador — came from a leak in a flowline to the SeaRose FPSO, a floating production, storage and offloading vessel about 350 kilometres southeast of St. Source
  • Thanks but no: Queen turns down 'Oldie of the Year' title

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II is Britain and Commonwealth's longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch. But don't call her an oldie. The 95-year-old queen has politely declined the honor of being named "Oldie of the Year" by a British magazine, saying she does not meet "the relevant criteria. Source
  • Anatomy of a kidnapping: Haitian woman recounts abduction

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- When Doris Michel steps outside her home in Haiti, she packs her bulletproof vest and tries to use a bulletproof car. Ever since her father was kidnapped last month in the capital of Port-au-Prince, the 34-year-old Haitian-American woman won't take any chances. Source
  • Jury selection resumes slowly in Ahmaud Arbery slaying trial

    World News CTV News
    BRUNSWICK, GA. -- Attorneys resumed questioning potential jurors Tuesday in the trial of three white men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, with several jury pool members saying they know the defendants or other people close to the case. Source
  • Taliban agree to new polio vaccination across Afghanistan

    World News CTV News
    ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- U.N. agencies are gearing up to vaccinate all of Afghanistan's children under 5 against polio for the first time since 2018, after the Taliban agreed to the campaign, the World Health Organization says. Source
  • One injury reported after plane crash in Waller County, Texas

    World News CTV News
    A plane carrying 22 people crashed while taking off at Houston Executive Airport on Tuesday morning, officials said. All passengers and crew were safely removed with one minor injury, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon reported via Facebook. Source