Taliban Releases Two Americans From Detention In ‘Goodwill’ Measure

(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The Taliban released two detained Americans on Tuesday in an apparent act of “goodwill” on the same day the regime banned women from higher education.

Ivor Shearer, a filmmaker who was arrested in August in Kabul, was one of the Americans released. The identity of the other has not yet been confirmed. State Department Spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday he could not speak to the identity of the second individual due to privacy protocols.

The Taliban also acted Tuesday to ban women from attending university in Afghanistan. When asked if the prisoner release may have been strategically timed to soften that public relations blow, Price said he couldn’t say with certainty, but that the “irony” was “not lost” on the United States.

“The irony of them granting us a goodwill gesture on a day where they undertake a gesture like this to the Afghan people, it’s not lost on us. But it is a question for the Taliban themselves regarding the timing of this,” he said. (RELATED: Biden Admin Stonewalls Watchdog Seeking Accountability For $1 Billion Aid To Afghanistan Since Taliban Takeover)

Price added that the U.S. did not exchange any money or prisoners for the two released Americans, stating that the Taliban characterized the move as a “goodwill measure.”

The U.S. has repeatedly condemned the Taliban in recent months for not meeting the promises it made to moderate after it retook control of Afghanistan last year, particularly in regard to women’s rights. The Taliban’s decision to free the two captives comes as the second high-profile American prisoner release this month, after the Biden administration previously secured the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner from Russia in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout.