Home » Taliban release 84-year-old Austrian right-wing extremist

Taliban release 84-year-old Austrian right-wing extremist

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© AFP

An Austrian right-wing extremist has been released after nine months in captivity with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Austrian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that the 84-year-old man had landed in the Qatari capital Doha.

Herbert Fritz (84) is a well-known figure in the far-right scene in Austria. In 1967 he was one of the founders of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which was banned in 1988.

He has been held by the Taliban, who rule Afghanistan, since May 2023.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer thanked the Qatari government on social media platform X for its mediation in the case.

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The Austrian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the 84-year-old man had received “consular support to the best of our ability” in recent months through that ministry, the Austrian embassy in Pakistan and the EU representation in Kabul. As a result, he received medication and a hearing aid, among other things.

© AFP

Despite a decades-old travel warning, the right-wing extremist had traveled to Afghanistan, where he was accused of espionage. He had reported positively about life in Afghanistan, according to the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, fueling anti-immigration arguments that Afghanistan was a safe country to which refugees could return. According to the far-right Austrian party FPÖ, he was conducting research for a book.

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