An Italian photographer kidnapped in Afghanistan more than three weeks ago has been released. Gabriele Torsello, 36, was said to be in good health. He worked for the Peace Reporter website which specialises in conflict cover and has close links to NGOs in Afghanistan.
His colleague, Enrico Piovesana, said Gabriele told them he had had chains tied to his feet but was otherwise well treated. A convert to Islam, Torsello had reportedly won the trust of the Taliban who allowed him to photograph their strongholds in the country’s troubled south.
His family had reiterated calls for his release, most recently on radio, when his father appealed to his captors to remember Gabriele was one of theirs. His kidnappers had threatened to kill him unless Italy’s 1,800 troops left Afghanistan and Rome handed over an Afghan Christian convert for trial in an Islamic court. Rome’s ambassador to Afghanistan has said no ransom was paid for Torsello’s release. No deadline has been set for the withdrawal of Italian troops from Afghanistan.