New video emerges of Father Tom Uzhunnalil
Aden, Yemen: Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Salesian priest who was been abducted and help captive by suspected ISIS terrorists, has appealed for help in a new video.
A frail looking Father Tom says his health is deteriorating and needs hospitalisation. His captors had contacted the Indian government and the Bishop several times, but their response had been poor.
Father Tom is diabetic and is suffering from blood pressure issues as well.
In the nearly 90 second video, recorded in April 15 2017, he says neither Indian government nor Bishop made a serious effort to understand what his captors wanted. He appeals to his family to do whatever they can. The date April 15, 2017 was written on a cardboard pasted on his body.
The authenticity of the recording could not immediately be verified.
Aden’s minority Christian community have largely fled what used to be a cosmopolitan seaport before it became a conflict zone.
Father Tom had released another video in December 2016 appealing for help. Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had tweeted saying the Indian government would whatever possible to free him.
Father Tom was abducted on March 4, 2016, by gunmen who stormed Aden Care Home in Yemen killing 16 people.
He remains in custody of his captors in an unknown location.
The priest from Kottayam district of Kerala is attached to the Bangalore diocese of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
He had been working in in Aden since 2010 under Bishop Paul Hinder of Abu Dhabi.
Father Tom had returned to India for a brief while in 2015 and went back to Yemen despite an Indian government advisory refraining nationals from travelling.
His family says Father Tom was dedicated to his work and led a simple life owning nothing except the dress he wears.