Two hostages – one each from Japan and Jordan – may die soon if their respective governments don’t pay a handsome sum to ransom them.
A new video uploaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization appearing to show Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held with him, proclaims the two will die in 24 hours unless Jordan frees terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi from death row.
Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh was captured after his jet crashed in northeastern Syria this past December (2014) during a bombing mission against ISIS.
Goto’s friend, 42 year old Haruna Yukawa was beheaded last week after a previous 72-hour ransom deadline expired. ISIS had demanded $200 million in exchange for that hostage.
In the new clip, the man speaking states, “She (Rishawi) has been a prisoner for a decade and I’ve only been a prisoner for a few months. Her for me, a straight exchange.”
Rishawi, an Iraqi, has been on death row for years in Jordan for her involvement in a suicide bombing that took the lives of 60 people in 2005.
Japanese government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga was quoted by The Guardian as saying Tuesday in response, “In this extremely tough situation, we are continuing as before to request the cooperation of the Jordanian government to work toward the immediate release of Mr. Goto.”
The Kyodo news agency quoted unnamed officials who said Jordan has been in contact with ISIS through a third party about negotiating a deal for the release of the two hostages. Jordan’s King Abdullah II, however, was quoted as telling a Jordanian newspaper that the case of the Jordanian pilot “tops the country’s priorities.”
The United States meanwhile is adamantly opposed to any prisoner swaps with ISIS, let alone the payment of ransoms to that or any other terror organization.Hana Levi Julian