| 8°C Dublin

You abandoned me, says third UK hostage in Isil video

A THIRD British hostage held by Isil extremists has said in a video that he has been "abandoned" by Britain as he appeals for the UK government to "negotiate" with his captors.

British newspaper photographer John Cantlie has become the latest kidnap victim to appear in an Islamic State (Isil) propaganda video, which he admits is a desperate attempt to save his life.

Mr Cantlie, has been held by Isil for almost two years since he disappeared while covering the conflict in Syria in 2012.

Mr Cantlie, obviously under duress, says that he will be making a series of "programmes" in which he seeks to expose the "truth behind Islamic State" and how the West is embroiled in "yet another unwinnable conflict".

In the video, entitled "lend me your ears", he suggests that the only way to secure his release is to for the government to pay a ransom. The video marks a significant change of tactics for Isil, which has previously released footage of hostages being executed in a desert.

He appears sitting at a table in a darkened room wearing orange Guantanamo Bay-style robes and speaks directly to the camera. The video is shot from several different angles and incorporates Arabic subtitles.

Close

John Cantlie

John Cantlie

Reuters

David Haines

David Haines

PA

Alan Henning

Alan Henning

Reuters

/

John Cantlie

It was released after it emerged at the weekend that David Haines, an aid worker, had become the first Briton to be murdered by a man believed to be the British-accented terrorist known as "Jihadi John", who has previously beheaded two American journalists.

In the footage of Mr Haines's murder, released on Saturday night, the terrorists threaten to murder Alan Henning, a 47-year-old aid convoy volunteer from Manchester who was captured in Syria late last year.

It has now emerged that a third British hostage is being held in Syria by Isil. In the video, Mr Cantlie says: "In November 2012 I came to Syria where I was subsequently captured by the Islamic State.

"Now, nearly two years later, many things have changed including the expansion of the Islamic State to include large areas of eastern Syria and Western Iraq, a land mass bigger than Britain and many other nations.

"Right. Well it's true, I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny. But seeing as I've been abandoned by my government and my fate lies in the hands of the Islamic State I have nothing to lose.

"Maybe I will live, maybe I will die. But I want to take this opportunity to convey some facts that you can verify. Facts that if you contemplate might help preserve lives.

"Over the next few programmes I'm going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State."

During the film he highlights that while Britain and the US refuse to pay ransoms for hostages, other nations, including France and Germany, have done so in the past. (©Independent News Service)

Irish Independent