Uzhunnalil apologies for captivity video

February 25, 2018 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Krishnagar, February 25, 2018: Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Yemen, has apologized for a video message he was compelled to make during captivity.

“Whatever I said in the video was not from my heart. My abductors wanted me to speak so. I do not know why they forced me to say so. Nevertheless, I apologize for whatever I had said,” Father Uzhunnalil on February 23 told The Telegraph newspaper of Kolkata in Krishnagar, the headquarters of Nadia district in West Bengal state.

The 59-year-old priest visited the city, some 100 km north of Kolkata, the capital of the eastern Indian state, to express his gratitude to Catholic nuns who had prayed for his release.

In the video, Father Uzhunnalil was seen complaining that had he been a European priest, the authorities would have got him released. “I am from India and therefore, I am perhaps not considered of much value,” he had said in the video circulated by his abductors.

The native of Ramapuram in the Kottayam district of Kerala was abducted on March 4, 2016. “The militants raided our charity in Aden and killed 16 people, including four Catholic nuns who were from the Missionaries of Charity congregation founded by Mother Teresa,” he recalled.

According to the priest, his captors had “recorded at least four or five videos.”

“I was forced to speak as per their script…I had informed the president and the prime minister about the incident after my release,” he added.

The priest was released on September 12, 2017.

Father Uzhunnalil arrived in Kolkata on February 17 for a 10-day visit of West Bengal.

– matters india

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