PESHAWAR, Pakistan– The Taliban has released a video of a hostage from York County and her Canadian husband. The captives said they will be killed if the Afghani government continues executing Taliban prisoners.
Multiple sources report the video is intended to to pressure the Afghan government not to execute the son of a feared militant leader.
Caitlan Coleman, 30, of Stewartstown and Joshua Boyle, 33, her Canadian husband, appear in a 2 1/2 minute video, where they say they will be killed if the Afghan government does not change its policies. The pair were kidnapped in 2012 during a backpacking trip.
“They will execute us, women and children included, if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned either by the Afghan government or by Canada somehow, or US,” says Boyle in the video. In the video Coleman appears to be pregnant. She has reportedly given birth to two children while in captivity.
FOX43 visited the Coleman’s Stewartstown home on Wednesday. Her father, Jim, declined to speak on camera, but did say he and his wife, Lyn, are actively speaking with people to bring their daughter and son-in-law home.
United States Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) told FOX43 he Wednesday morning he had yet to speak with the Colemans since the new video surfaced. Casey has been talking with the couple since their daughter’s first video surfaced in 2014, he said.
“Whenever I’ve dealt with them they’ve been strong, very determined to see their daughter released,” Sen. Casey said.
Casey says both he, and Caitlan Coleman’s parents are in touch with the U.S. State Department, which is engaging foreign leaders and ambassadors in an effort to bring the duo home. The most recent video, however, which includes the execution threats, makes this current scenario “particularly difficult.”
“It really does try your patience,” Casey said. “It puts families through a kind of hell I can only imagine.”
According to reports, Anas Haqqani is the prisoner the Taliban wants spared. He is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the feared Haqqani network, an Afghan guerilla warfare group that fights against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. The group is known for kidnappings and high profile attacks in cities, like Kabul.
In May, the Afghan government hanged six Taliban prisoners following a suicide attack that killed more than 60 people in Kabul.
Anas Haqqani is currently on trial in Afghanistan and faces the death sentence. Some Afghan media reported Tuesday that he had probably been sentenced to death in a procedure that is not public, but there was no official confirmation.
A State Department spokesman said on Tuesday the validity of the video was being studied but offered no further comment.