A video of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian priest, abducted in Yemen apparently by the Islamic State (ISIS) in March has surfaced where he can be seen pleading for help from Pope Francis and the Indian government.
Uzhunnalil, also known as Tommy George, claims that his nationality is the primary reason why he had not yet been rescued.
"I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously in my regard. Reports have been there in the news that everything is being done to release me quickly. But in reality nothing seems to have happened," the priest said.
“Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father please take care of my life. I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating. I may need hospitalization soon,” he pleaded in the video.
Here's the entire video:
Father George hails from the Indian state of Kerala and was serving at a care home run by the Missionaries of Charity in the port city of Aden when it was attacked by suspected ISIS militants on March 4, 2016, killing 16 people.
India's External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj responded by promising that the Indian government will spare no effort to secure the release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil.
I have seen the video from Fr Tom. He is an Indian citizen and the life of every Indian is most precious for us. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) December 27, 2016
"We have spared no effort and we will spare no effort to secure Father Tom's release from captivity," she added.
Earlier this year, the Pope demanded ISIS set him free in an address to Catholics broadcast to the world but nothing came out of it and for a long time, there was no news of him and he was feared dead – till now.
Indian government officials and the Vatican, both, insist they have been making efforts to secure his release from the terrorists.
The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Yemen's Houthi movement since March 2015. It wants to restore the internationally recognized president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was driven into exile by supposedly Iran-allies, the Houthis, in late 2014.
Airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition have been blamed for the majority of the thousands of estimated deaths so far.
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