John Cantlie's father issues plea for his release from hospital bed

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Friday 03 October 2014 17:30
news

The 81-year-old father of John Cantlie, the British photojournalist being held hostage by Isis militants, has issued an emotional plea from his hospital bed for his son's release.

Mr Cantlie was kidnapped in 2012 in Syria by Isis (also known as Islamic State) fighters and has been forced to appear in three of their propaganda videos.

His father Paul said he felt "relief" at seeing his son in the videos for the first time in two years but also "despair and helplessness" at the situation.

With his hand to his throat and speaking with the help of a voice aid, he made a direct appeal to Isis, saying: "My son is a good man who only sought to help the Syrian people".

My family and I are trying to communicate with the Islamic State to deliver an important message regarding John, and can only hope that it has been received as we have had no response.

To those holding John, please know that he is a good man. He sought only to help the Syrian people and I ask you, from all that is sacred, to help us and allow him to return home safely to those he loves and those who love him

I have had many messages saying they cannot conceive what we, his family & all those who love him, must be feeling. Speaking entirely for myself, this is not how I had imagined I would be passing my 81st year.

I want John to know how very proud I am of him. I can think of no greater joy than seeing my dear son released and allowed to return home to us.

  • Paul Cantlie

We will not show pictures of Mr Cantlie as a hostage or in an orange jumpsuit, or report on the words he has been forced to parrot by his captors, but are happy to reproduce this picture of the journalist at work given to i100 courtesy of a friend.

More: Forget the propaganda. This is what you should know about John Cantlie

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