Indian Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped in Yemen more than a year ago has pleaded for the Indian government and the Catholic Church to do more to secure his release in a video message.
The video was posted on YouTube by the news site Aden Time May 8; Father Uzhunnalil is shown seated with a cardboard sign with the date April 15, 2017, Catholic News Service reported.
A similar video was posted in December.
An official at the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, which includes Yemen, said May 9 the person in the video is the kidnapped Salesian.
Father Uzhunnalil was kidnapped in Aden March 4, 2016, in an attack in which four Missionaries of Charity and at least 12 others were killed at a home for the aged.
In the new video, Father Uzhunnalil began by thanking “my dear family people” for their messages of concern.
Without describing his captors or referring to them as such, he said, “they are treating me well to the extent that they are able.”
“My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalization as early as possible,” he said.
Father Uzhunnalil said his captors have contacted Indian government authorities “several times” and the replies, which he said he has seen, were “very, very poor.”
“They also contacted the bishop, bishop of Abu Dhabi,” he said. “There, too, the response was not encouraging. Neither the bishop nor the Indian government authorities ask them what they really want to get me released. It is a poor response, and I am sad about that.”
Asking his family and friends to pressure the authorities, he said, “Please, please, do what you what you can to get me released. May God bless you for that.”
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