Free Peter Jouvenal immediately

Free Peter Jouvenal immediately

13 April 2022
This petition made change with 114,422 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Adam Kelliher

We want the UK Foreign Office to take tangible steps to secure the release of Peter Jouvenal, a veteran journalist and businessman who has been held by the Taliban in jail in Kabul since early December. Peter's continued detention is an obstacle to the Taliban having better relations with the outside world.

Two British citizens and one American have recently been released, but Peter -- who holds British and German citizenship -- remains in jail. 

Peter returned to Afghanistan as a businessman after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was restored in 2021. He had many meetings with their leaders and was planning to bring investment into Afghanistan, including into the mining sector. As he was to return, he was detained with no explanation.

Peter is a remarkable man, of the highest integrity, who has lived an adventurous life motivated by his curiosity about people and the world. His wide network of friends is largely because he has helped so many people over the years. I created this petition because I have been a friend of Peter for more than 30 years when he introduced me to Frontline News, an agency for combat cameramen.

The UK Foreign Office has held several meetings with leaders of the Taliban administration but so far failed to do what is necessary to secure his release. We understand there are clear political conditions for Peter to be released and we urge the Foreign Office to engage fully with the Afghan government to work through these and achieve his freedom.

We fear that other geopolitical turmoil has eclipsed Peter’s situation, and he is in danger of being forgotten by those who have the power to get him out. When we see the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe -- cynically imprisoned for six years in Iran until the Ukraine crisis gave a new political imperative for the Foreign Office to resolve a deal with Tehran -- we worry that Peter’s freedom is now forfeit to other unspecified factors. 

Peter is married to an Afghan, and they have three daughters. Peter is a friend of Afghanistan, a country he has been intimately connected with since his first trip there in 1980 when he worked as a cameraman covering the Soviet occupation.

During Peter’s long career as a photographer and cameraman, he worked even-handedly with different Afghan administrations, including the Taliban in the late 1990s. In 1997, he was the cameraman for a CNN interview with Osama bin Laden in eastern Afghanistan.

When the Taliban government fell in September 2001, Peter’s contacts enabled the BBC correspondent John Simpson to be the first reporter to enter the city as it fell. He opened a guest house called the ‘Gandamack Lodge’ in Kabul, for many years it was a favoured meeting place for journalists, aid workers and diplomats working in Afghanistan. 

Peter needs our help now. Please sign this petition to support getting this good man home to his family.


This petition made change with 114,422 supporters!

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