THE Afghan Taliban has released a video showing an Australian hostage pleading with the US government to negotiate with his captors and saying that unless a prisoner exchange was agreed, he would be killed.
Timothy Weekes, an Australian teacher at the American University in Kabul and his American colleague Kevin King were seized near the campus in August.
“I don’t want to die here, not alone, not here. Please speak for me now, speak to the American government, and please, please help me secure my release,” a tearful Weekes said in the video.media_camera
The video, which Weekes said was made on New Year’s Day, showed the two men, both bearded, asking their families to put pressure on the US government to help secure their release.
Weekes said “they look after us here and they treat us well. We eat what they eat”.
Addressing president-elect Donald Trump, who is due to take office on January 20, Weekes said the Taliban had asked for prisoners held at Bagram air field and at Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul to be exchanged for them.
“They are being held there illegally and the Taliban has asked for them to be released in our exchange. If they are not exchanged for us then we will be killed,” he said.
“Donald Trump sir, please, I ask you, please, this is in your hands, I ask you please to negotiate with the Taliban. If you do not negotiate with them, we will be killed.”
Originally published as ‘I don’t want to die here, not alone’