Vienna says its nationwide has arrived in Doha after mediation by the Qatari authorities helped safe his launch.

The Taliban has launched Herbert Fritz, an 84-year-old Austrian far-right nationalist, who was arrested in Afghanistan final Might.

The Austrian authorities stated in an announcement on Sunday that Fritz arrived in Doha, Qatar earlier within the day after mediation by the Qatari authorities helped to safe his launch.

Fritz was arrested final 12 months after defying Austria’s long-standing warning in opposition to journey to Afghanistan, which in 2021 returned to the rule of the Taliban.

“I feel it was unhealthy luck however I need to go to once more,” he advised reporters on arrival in Doha, when requested about his ordeal.

“There have been some good folks however there have been some silly folks additionally, I’m sorry,” Fritz added, describing his captors.

After his arrest, Austria’s Der Customary newspaper stated Fritz had gone to Afghanistan and reported positively on life there. He revealed an article titled “Holidays with the Taliban” by way of a far-right media outlet.

This helped gasoline anti-immigration arguments that Afghanistan was a secure nation to which refugees may return, the newspaper stated.

The Taliban arrested him on suspicion of spying, and Austrian neo-Nazis made his case public by way of Telegram channels, Der Customary stated.

Austria’s Ministry of International Affairs stated it had been working to safe Fritz’s launch since Might, and thanked Qatar and the European Union illustration in Kabul for aiding its efforts to result in his return to Austria.

A spokesperson for the Austrian ministry advised the Related Press information company that Fritz had been held in a jail in Kabul.

Writing on X, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer thanked the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his workforce for his or her “sturdy help in releasing one in every of our residents from jail in Afghanistan”.

“It is just attributable to our trusted collaboration that this Austrian citizen will be capable of return house to his daughter and grandchildren,” Nehammer stated.

Fritz was a founding member of the nation’s Nationwide Democratic Occasion (NDP), an excessive proper group banned in 1988, based on Der Customary and different media retailers.

Austria’s far-right Freedom Occasion, which has been main in opinion polls forward of parliamentary elections due later this 12 months, had pressed for Fritz’s launch. The celebration has stated he was researching a e book in Afghanistan.

Qatar’s Ministry of International Affairs expressed gratitude on X for the “caretaker authorities in Afghanistan” for releasing the Austrian.

“The State of Qatar has confirmed, regionally and globally, that it’s a trusted worldwide companion in numerous necessary points,” the ministry stated. “It spares no effort in harnessing its power and talent within the areas of mediation, preventive diplomacy, and settling disputes by means of peaceable means.”


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