American woman held hostage by Haqqani Network details rape, beatings


Caitlan Coleman describes atrocities she suffered to ABC News November 20. [ABC News]

Caitlan Coleman describes atrocities she suffered to ABC News November 20. [ABC News]

NEW YORK -- An American woman held hostage by Taliban-linked militants for five years says she suffered from violence and sexual assault while in captivity and that her young son was beaten.

Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were abducted by the Haqqani Network while traveling through a remote area of Afghanistan -- for reasons that remain unclear -- in 2012.

The Haqqani Network is headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

The family's captivity ended last month in Pakistan, and they are trying to rebuild their lives in Canada.

Coleman, 31, gave birth to three children in captivity.

After the family returned to Canada last month, Boyle, 34, accused their kidnappers of murdering an infant daughter through a "forced abortion" and of raping his wife.

"They came into the cell, and they took my husband out forcefully, dragging him out, and one of the guards threw me down on the ground, hitting me and shouting 'I will kill you, I will kill you,'" Coleman told ABC News in a television interview broadcast Monday (November 20).

"And that's when the assault happened. It was with two men. And then there was a third at the door. And afterwards, the animals wouldn't even give me back my clothes."

"This was an intolerable situation for a child to be in, the constant fear," Coleman said.

The guards "could be very violent, even sometimes with the children", she said, saying the guards assaulted their now four-year-old son with a stick and hit her and her husband.

"I would get beaten or hit or thrown on the ground," she told ABC News.

Coleman broke a cheekbone and three fingers while intervening to protect the children, according to Boyle.

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[Unintelligible] These criminals, especially the Haqqani network, have been doing this shameful, inhumane act against defenseless foreign and local individuals. The actions of these terrorist groups is inhumane, regardless of whether it targets foreigners (infidels) or Muslims; because, personal privacy of individuals must be immune from others' [aggression.] The perpetrators of such actions should be prosecuted in an international court.