British men being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan have been in contact with their relatives, a family spokesman has said.
Charity medic Kevin Cornwell, 53, and an unnamed UK national who manages a hotel in Kabul are believed to have been detained by secret police since January.
A third Briton – so-called “danger tourist” Miles Routledge, 23 – is also being held in Taliban custody after he returned to the country this year.
Scott Richards from the Presidium Network non-profit organisation, which is assisting Mr Cornwell and the unnamed Briton, told Sky News: “We’re very pleased to announce that there has been contact between families and the detainees.
“They were able to spend about 10 minutes this morning in an unscripted conversation, which is very important. This is a landmark move and for any negotiation with the Taliban, because we haven’t seen any of this privilege before.
“They’ve certainly taking this as a goodwill gesture and an incredibly important step.”
Mr Cornwell was arrested at his hotel by officers from the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence on 11 January.
He is accused of having an illegal firearm in the safe in his room, but his family say he had been granted a licence for the firearm.
Mr Richards said this was down to a “misunderstanding” and the licence may have become separated from the firearm during the search.
Mr Routledge, 23, has gained fame – and attracted controversy – by travelling to dangerous countries and posting about it online.
In August 2021, he was on a “holiday” in Afghanistan when he was caught up in the chaos in the capital as the Taliban took control of the country.
He chose the war-torn country having looked up a list of the most dangerous places to visit in the world, despite the Taliban taking control of more and more of the country at the time.
Mr Routledge thanked the British Army after he was among those to leave during the Kabul airlift.
He appears to have returned to the country since then.