Miles Routledge, a 23-year-old from Birmingham, UK, is a self-proclaimed “danger tourist” who travels to the world’s most perilous places for fun. He has a YouTube channel with more than 59,000 subscribers and a Twitter account with more than 150,000 followers, where he posts videos and updates of his adventures.
Routledge has visited places such as Ukraine, South Sudan, Chernobyl, Brazil’s Snake Island, and the US/Mexico border. He has also spent two days homeless in New York City and crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship.
But his most notorious trip was to Afghanistan in August 2021, when he flew to Kabul just as the Taliban were taking over the country. He claimed he chose Afghanistan because he enjoyed “dark” and “extreme” tourism, and wanted to see the “real” side of the country.
He documented his experience on social media, showing himself interacting with Taliban fighters, witnessing dead bodies in the street, and hiding from gunfire in a NATO safe house. He also livestreamed his evacuation by the British Army on a plane to Dubai, calling it the “best holiday ever”.
However, his controversial trip sparked backlash from many people who accused him of being naive, insensitive, and irresponsible. Some said he wasted valuable resources and put himself and others in danger for no reason. Others said he exploited the suffering of the Afghan people for entertainment and fame.
Routledge defended himself by saying he was not harming anyone or breaking any laws. He said he was raising awareness of the situation in Afghanistan and donating money to charities. He also said he was fulfilling his passion for travelling and learning about different cultures.
But it seems that Routledge’s passion has led him to another risky situation. According to multiple Twitter accounts, he is being held by the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence or GDI, essentially the secret police in the country.
The accounts claim that Routledge returned to Afghanistan in February 2023, despite the ongoing conflict and instability in the country. They say he was arrested by the GDI on suspicion of being a spy or an agent provocateur. They also say he is being tortured and interrogated by the Taliban.
Routledge has not posted on Twitter since February 28th, 2023, when he tweeted: “I’m back in Afghanistan! This time I’m going to explore some more rural areas and see how life is like under the Taliban rule. Wish me luck!”
His YouTube channel has also been inactive since then. His last video was titled: “Why I’m going back to Afghanistan”.
His family and friends have not heard from him since his arrest. They are extremely worried about his safety and well-being. They have contacted the British government and various humanitarian organizations for help, but they have not received any confirmation or information about his whereabouts or condition.
They have also launched a campaign on social media to raise awareness of his plight and demand his release. They use the hashtag #FreeMilesRoutledge and urge people to sign a petition on Change.org.
They say Routledge is not a spy or a troublemaker, but a curious and adventurous young man who made a mistake. They say he does not deserve to be punished or harmed for his actions. They say he deserves a chance to come home safely.
They hope that their campaign will reach the Taliban and persuade them to let Routledge go. They also hope that their campaign will reach other people who might be tempted to follow Routledge’s example and travel to dangerous places for fun.
They want to warn them of the risks and consequences of such trips. They want to remind them that there are other ways to explore the world and learn about different cultures without putting themselves or others in harm’s way.