A report released today by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has reported that a Canadian man and his American wife who were kidnapped by Taliban allies in 2012 have appeared in a video, pleading for their lives.
While the time and date of the video is unknown, IPT stated that the video appeared Tuesday on the social media site Telegram where the couple Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman plead for help from their governments to stop the Afghan government from executing Taliban-linked prisoners.
IPT further reported:
Anas Haqqani, son of Haqqani network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, may be among those the Afghan government plans to execute the Agence France Presse has reported.
The couple is believed to be held captive by the Haqqani network, which is active in the highlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In the video, Boyle and Coleman said, “Our captors are afraid of their own mortality approaching and are saying that they will take reprisals on our family – they will execute us, women and children included – if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned… either by the Afghan government or Canada, somehow.”
A visibly frightened Boyle called on the United States and Canada to change the Afghan government’s policies to spare their captors from possible future execution. Coleman likewise said that their captors plan to kill her and her family unless their demands are met.
The Haqqani network may be trying to secure a prisoner swap similar to the Sgt.Bowe Bergdahl case, a senior source in the Taliban’s Qatar office told The Daily Beast.
This isn’t the first hostage video involving Boyle and Coleman. Two videos appeared in 2014 in which they asked for U.S. help in securing their release. Those videos were released around the time Bergdahl was freed.
Coleman’s parents released a video in late June pleading with her captors for her family’s safe release. Another American is believed to be held by the Haqqani network, but the person’s identity has not been made public.
In early May, Kabul hanged six Taliban-linked inmates, in the first set of executions carried out as part of President Ashraf Ghani’s new hardline policy against the insurgents who are stepping up their nationwide offensive.