John Cantlie, the British journalist being held hostage by the Islamic State (ISIS), has told his family to “let me go” and “get on with your lives,” Russia Today reported on Friday.
Cantlie published a piece in the latest issue of ISIS’s English-language propaganda magazine Dabiq.
“Despite being a prisoner, I’ve been shown respect and kindness, which I haven’t seen from my own government. Even if I had the choice, could I honestly return to and live in a country that disowned the other Britons, all their families, and myself so contemptuously?” he writes.
Cantlie criticized the UK government for having shown indifference to his fate and that of fellow British captives who have been killed by ISIS.
“The British government was entirely happy to watch as an 81-year-old man made a film asking for my release from his hospital bed, then die because he didn't want to see his youngest son executed. That was my dad,” he continued, referring to his late father, who died of complications following pneumonia in 2014.
He said he holds the government partially responsible for the death of his father shortly after appealing to his son's captors to set him free.
“The only thing I'm aware that the British government has done in my case is to comment pointlessly on the release of my videos,” Cantlie’s article reads, according to Russia Today. “Family and friends have done far more for the other Britons and myself who were imprisoned out here.”
Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria in 2013 and has since appeared in several ISIS propaganda videos, which purportedly aim to explain the group’s mission and the situation in Syria.
In the piece in the magazine, he also seems to criticize Western airstrikes against ISIS, saying, “Every bomb dropped in Syria or Iraq serves as a recruitment tool for the Islamic State.” However, it is impossible to verify whether Cantlie definitely wrote the article and which parts have been edited by ISIS propagandists.
Earlier this week, ISIS released a video featuring Cantlie inside Aleppo, which he called the “last in this series.”
The photojournalist says in the magazine he accepted the role of the militant group’s media representative and reporter in order to survive.
“Thank you so much for your tireless efforts,” Cantlie’s article reads. “But let it go. Leave it be and get on with your lives, all of you,” he tells his family, fiancée and friends.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)