John Cantlie: Isis prisoners are waterboarded for trying to escape, says British hostage in video

The photojournalist made the claim while speaking under duress in the fifth instalment of a series of Isis propaganda films

Emma Finamore
Sunday 26 October 2014 15:11
Photojournalist John Cantlie pictured in Aleppo, Syria
Photojournalist John Cantlie pictured in Aleppo, Syria

Isis prisoners are waterboarded as punishment for trying to escape, British hostage John Cantlie has said in a video released by the terror group.

The photojournalist, 43, who has been held captive for over two years, makes the claim while speaking under duress in the fifth instalment of a series of Isis propaganda films entitled Lend Me Your Ears.

Mr Cantlie can be seen delivering a seemingly scripted message from behind a desk, dressed in an orange jumpsuit.

“Now, unless we tried something stupid like escaping or doing something we shouldn't, we were treated well by the Islamic State,” he says.

”Some of us who tried to escape were waterboarded by our captors, as Muslim prisoners are waterboarded by their American captors.“

The video’s release comes days after his father, Paul Cantlie, 80, died from complications following pneumonia.

The hostage is also seen reading from emails allegedly exchanged between Isis and the families of American captives, complaining about the US government's refusal to negotiate with the group for their loved ones' release.

”We have begged them so many times already. Everyone has buried their heads in the sand,” reads Mr Cantlie, from one message he dates to July this year.

“We feel we are caught in the middle between you and the US government, and we are being punished.”

The video makes no reference to recent events and it is not clear when the footage was filmed.

Mr Cantlie has also allegedly written on the Isis English-language propaganda website, stating that he has recorded eight videos to be released one by one, and that the next instalment will focus on a failed rescue mission.

The prisoner’s sister, Jessica Cantlie, has previously appealed for there to be “direct contact” with the militants holding him.

Since August this year, Isis has filmed and posted online the deaths of four Western hostages. British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines, and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, were beheaded on camera by the Jihadi organisation.

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