Sean Langan

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Captured By The Taliban

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As described in Hotel Taliban, Sean was kidnapped while making a Channel 4 film and held hostage for months. They forced him at gunpoint to reveal the names of his children and threatened his translator; they also asked if Westerners could marry animals. Sean tells the story, with typical gallows humour.


The journalist and documentary film-maker Sean Langan has a reputation for going to places and speaking to groups other reporters wouldn’t dare approach. After facing state firing squads in Zimbabwe, his life took a dramatic turn when he was captured by the Taliban.

Starting out in print, Sean eventually found his niche with a portable video camera - taking ever bigger risks visiting war zones and meeting terrorist groups. With what he calls a combination of naivety and ambition, he tracked down kidnappers in Kashmir and visited front lines in Iraq and the Gaza Strip; but it was his knowledge of Afghanistan and his fearlessness towards the Taliban that made his name.

Having witnessed battles with British forces, Sean sought to meet the shadowy, little understood enemy. He reveals the drama and surprisingly funny meetings in which he was asked if Western women really were allowed to marry animals - and the misunderstanding which nearly saw him killed as an American operative.

Sean reveals everything from political intrigue to how to negotiate a meeting with some of the world’s most wanted characters - and the thoughts of a man about to face execution, complete with wonderful ‘gallows’ humour.

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