Five months ago, two teachers were violently kidnapped outside the American University of Afghanistan where they both taught. Now, the two are shown in a video posted on Youtube that shows the two men begging Donald Trump to negotiate their release.
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The 13-minute video shows Kevin King, 60, an American, and Timothy John Weeks, 48, an Australian, visually distraught and sobbing uncontrollably. “If we stay here for much longer, we will be killed. I don’t want to die here,” Weeks says in the video. In return, the Taliban is asking for some of their “soldiers” to be released.
There is no exact timetable as to when this was filmed, but reports indicated in the video suggest it is during the presidential transition, as they refer to President Trump.
Weeks added in the video: “Donald Trump, sir, I ask you, please. This is in your hands. I ask you please to negotiate with the Taliban. If you do not negotiate with them, we will be killed.”
The abduction was part of a recent string of foreigner kidnappings in Kabul. This is the first time the two have seen since their capture. Kerry Jane Wilson was another Australian that was kidnapped during the same time and was released after four months of captivity.
Kidnapping has been nothing new in Afghanistan. An American couple who were held captive in 2012 appeared in a similar video. The two, Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle and their two children, who were conceived while captured, described their ordeal as a “Kafkaesque nightmare.” The family was released after four years of captivity.
The Afghan government sentenced their capturer Anas Haqqani, who was the brother of a Taliban leader, to death. Officials believed Haqqani and his group of militants were thought to be trying to ransom their victims in order to have clout in trading for his brother’s release.
It is unclear if the Taliban holding Weeks and King have the same intention.