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New video shows Czech hostages in Pakistan in fragile state

AFP | Last Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 13:51

Prague: Relatives of two Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan released a new video today showing them looking exhausted, speaking of death and begging Czech authorities to take action to free them.

The video of Hana Humpalova and Antonie Chrastecka, made in late August, had been delivered to the Czech embassy in Islamabad, foreign ministry spokeswoman Johana Grohova told reporters who viewed it in Prague today. She declined further comment.
The women, who were kidnapped in March, speak separately in English, with Humpalova saying she is "concerned about my friend who was with me as I am not sure if she is dead or alive," breaking into sobs and complaining about her poor health.

"In case of my death I would like to be buried and put down in the grave of my father`s family," she said.

"I don`t know how much time I have left because when these guys take their final action you will not hear from me again," said Humpalova, who wore a black headscarf.

Equally miserable, Chrastecka begs the Czech government to "make the biggest pressure to the Pakistani government to cooperate with my kidnappers. Please give them what they want. Please help me to go home soon."

The women also asked for songs by Gwen Stefani and Cat Stevens -- who took the name Yusuf Islam after he converted to Islam in 1977 -- to be played at their funerals.
The foreign ministry also released a video of their mothers asking the kidnappers to treat them well.

The two 24-year-old psychology students were kidnapped on March 13 while being escorted by a tribal policeman after crossing into Pakistan from Iran on holiday.

In another video released in June, they claimed to be in good condition and pleaded for the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, jailed in the United States on charges of terrorist links.
Kidnappings plague parts of Baluchistan and northwest Pakistan, where criminals looking for ransoms snatch foreigners and locals, sometimes passing their hostages on to the Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked groups.

First Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 13:51
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