Austrian prisoner in Afghanistan freed after nine months

The man was on a “reconnaissance mission” and had been spotted in the right-wing extremist and neo-Nazi scene in his past.

The report on Sunday came as a surprise. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs Herbert FritzA retired teacher on a research trip Afghanistan A man arrested for espionage is free.

“We are happy to announce that 84-year-old Austrian citizen Herbert Fritz, who has been imprisoned in Afghanistan since May 2023, is free as of today. He has already left Afghanistan and landed in Doha, Qatar in the afternoon. He will receive medical attention if necessary before taking the flight to Austria,” the broadcast said.

This publication appears to have taken place under mediation Qatar. It is not yet clear when Fritz will begin his journey. First, a comprehensive health check-up will be carried out. The first phone call has already been made with his family, the Ministry of External Affairs said. In Doha he was first accompanied by the Federal President's Special Representative for Foreign Policy. Peter Lansky-Diefenthalreceived

A controversial journey

Last year, former EU MP A delegation led by the FPÖ worked to secure Fritz's release. Andreas Mölzer Attempted, this led to domestic political complications when high-ranking FPÖ members met with Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaki, the “foreign minister” of the unrecognized Taliban rulers. According to Afghan media reports, diplomatic matters were also discussed at the meeting in late September.

FPÖ leader Herbert Giggle He recused himself from the trip, which he described as “incredibly stupid”. As a result of the trip, National Council member Axel Kassager resigned as the FPÖ's foreign policy spokesperson in the National Council, and contrary to original plans, he was not part of the delegation, which also included former National Council member Johannes. Huebner.

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FPÖ review

As early as February, the FPÖ accused the foreign ministry of doing too little to secure the man's release. At a joint press conference with her 84-year-old daughter, Liberal MP Martin Graf spoke of a “failure of government”. Graf demanded that Austria accede to the Taliban's demands to close the Afghan embassy in Vienna.

Size in perfect display

The retired teacher is nothing new. In the past he has been noticed in the right-wing extremist and neo-Nazi scene in Austria. He was a founding member of Vienna National Democratic Party (NDP), which was disbanded in 1988 due to Nazi re-activation. As an old man, he still is Brotherhood The Olympics are in action. He gave a speech about the neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Gerd Honczyk, who had a criminal record and later died.

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