Photojournalist John Cantlie is shown on the latest Islamic State video claiming that the British government has “abandoned” him and pleading for negotiations to be opened so he can avoid death.
The video, which shows Cantlie sitting behind a desk and reading an autocue in an anonymous room presumably in Syria, has a professional feel to it and is a significant change in approach from the group who have previously released barbaric footage of hostages being executed.
Cantlie, 43, who has worked for some of the UK’s biggest news outlets including The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph, joined Prince William and Prince Harry on the Enduro Africa charity bike ride in 2008 as the official photographer. He is said to have got to know the Princes well during the 1,500 kilometer motorbike race across South Africa, where the small group lived, ate, slept and rode together.
This latest capture is the second time Cantlie has been held hostage. In July 2012 he was kidnapped in Syria while covering the civil war. He eventually managed to escape with the help of the Free Syrian Army, but shortly after his return to the UK, he declared his intentions to continue his work in Syria.
In November of that year he returned to the troubled country where he was quickly captured again and has been held for the past two years. There has been a news blackout on his capture up until now.
In the video, Cantlie criticizes the war on the Islamic State and urges the public to tune in to further broadcasts where he will reveal “the truth” about the current situation in the region. The Islamic State, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks.
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