Sgt Bowe Bergdahl 'refusing to speak' to parents after five years in captivity at the hands of Taliban

Soldier claims he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage for hours

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the US soldier held captive by the Taliban for almost five years, has not spoken to his parents and is not emotionally prepared to reunite with his family.

According to US officials briefed on his condition, Sgt. Bergdahl received a letter from his sister but hasn't responded yet. Officials say the soldier is in "good enough physical condition" to return to the United States, but is "not ready psychologically or emotionally" to meet his family.

The soldier also told US officials at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he is being treated, that he was tortured, beaten and kept in total darkness inside a cage after he tried to escape from his Taliban captors.

Sgt. Bergdahl is at the centre of a political in storm in the US where a group of Republicans, and some Democrats, have blasted the White House for agreeing to the prisoner-swap without consulting first with Congress and keeping the deal a secret.

The American hostage was freed in exchange for five Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

At the same time, some have questioned the circumstances of his capture in June 2009, suggesting that he left his post of his own will– that he, in effect, deserted. Some have said that the search for him thereafter led to the deaths of six US personnel.

Meanwhile, the FBI  is investigating threats made against the soldier’s parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, who have not been seen in public since President Obama announced that their son had been liberated after five years in captivity at the hands of the Taliban.

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