The Islamic State (IS) militant group has released a new video showing another British journalist who says he is being held hostage by the extremists.
In the video, the hostage who identifies himself as John Cantlie, is sitting behind a desk as he speaks to the camera. The hostage, dressed in orange, says he wanted “to convey some facts”.
Cantlie, who in 2012 escaped an earlier kidnapping in Syria, asks why he and others have been abandoned by the US and UK governments.
The IS, which now controls roughly a third of Syria and Iraq, has beheaded two US journalists and a British aid worker and has threatened to kill another British captive named Alan Henning.
No IS militants are seen in the video, which is titled “Lend Me Your Ears” and is addressed to the Western public.
“After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?” he says.
The photojournalist also makes clear that he is under duress –- and that he does not know whether he will succeed in his attempt to avoid being murdered.
“Now I know what you are thinking, you are thinking: ‘He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this,’ right?” he says.
“Well it’s true I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny. But seeing as I have been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hands of Islamic State I have nothing to lose.
Maybe I will live and 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 preserving lives.” He also says this is the first of several of what he calls programmes in which he will explain the philosophy of IS.
The video featuring Cantlie has been released nearly a week after footage depicting the death of David Haines, the first British hostage to be killed.
It was in that video that the life of Henning, a 47-year-old taxi driver from Salford in northern England, was threatened.
Henning was a volunteer on an aid convoy in December 2013 when he was seized just after crossing into Syria.