Australian aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan freed

After four months in captivity Australian aid worker Kerry Jane Wilson has been freed by Afghan forces.

Rick Rycroft/AP/File
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks in Sydney in April last year. An Australian aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan in April had been released and was safe, Australia's foreign minister said Monday.

After four months spent in captivity following her kidnapping in Afghanistan, Australian aid worker Kerry Jane Wilson has been freed. 

Officials said Monday that Ms. Wilson was freed by Afghan forces in a special operation in eastern Afghanistan. At least three suspects have been arrested, though authorities did not say who was responsible for the abduction. She was taken in April by two armed men from her office in the eastern city of Jalalabad.  

Wilson, who is in her sixties, has lived and worked in Afghanistan for about 20 years. Most recently, she's run Zardozi, a nongovernmental organization that helps impoverished Afghan women start their own businesses by selling items that they sew. 

As Paige McClanahan reported for The Christian Science Monitor in 2013: 

Working in Kabul and three other Afghan cities – Mazar, Jalalabad, and Herat – Zardozi offers women training on topics such as design, quality assurance, pricing, leadership skills, and business planning.

The organization – which is funded by the Dutch nonprofit group Oxfam Novib and the governments of Britain and Sweden – then connects the women with shopkeepers who buy their shirts, pants, pillowcases, and the like. Sometimes the organization offers the women small loans, as little as $100, to help them expand their fledgling businesses. In return, the women pay a membership fee of just $1 per month.

In an interview with the Monitor at the time, Wilson compared the women she works with to "prisoners who have just gotten out of jail," explaining that many are illiterate and have difficulty performing day-to-day tasks such as conversing with shopkeepers or navigating around their home city. 

A former colleague of Wilson's told CNN that there had been "frantic worry" since Wilson was abducted in April, adding, "To hear the news this morning of her release and that she is safe and well is indescribable."

"I hope she returns to her family as soon as possible for much needed recuperation from her ordeal, and I also hope that she will consider returning to Afghanistan to continue her amazing work," the former-colleague said. "She is vital to the future of Afghanistan."

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Australian aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan freed
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today