Video: Keralite priest Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped in Yemen, appeals on YouTube for help
In the video, Fr. Uzhinnalil said: "Honorable Prime Minister and President of India, I'm deeply saddened as no serious action has been taken to ensure my release."
Keralite priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil (Tomy George), who was abducted by terrorists in March 2015 from Yemen, has made an appeal to the Indian government to take urgent steps for his release.
The authenticity of the video, which has been recently released on YouTube, could not be ascertained. In the video, Fr. Uzhinnalil said: "Honorable Prime Minister and President of India, I'm deeply saddened as no serious action has been taken to ensure my release."
The bearded priest, who was seen wearing a gray T-shirt in the video, said that his captors had contacted the government many times, but no serious action was taken. "My health is deteriorating. I may need to be hospitalized soon. Please help me soon," the priest appealed in the 5-minute-6-second video.
The priest from Kottayam even lamented that may be he was not getting enough support as he is from India. "Dear Pope Francis, please take care of my life. I also request other bishops to come to my help quickly. Maybe no serious action has taken for my release probably because I am from India. If I were an European priest, I would have been taken more seriously," he said.
He also mentioned the release of a French woman journalist from the captors in Yemen. "Dear friends, I beg you all... pray you all... do your might and save my life," he was heard appealing over and over again in the video.
He was abducted March 4 when four gunmen attacked a Missionaries of Charity-run retirement home in Aden, the provincial capital of Yemen, killing 16 people, including four Missionary of Charity sisters.
It remains unclear who was behind the kidnapping. The plight of Uzhunnalil garnered significant international attention when rumors arose that he was to be crucified on Good Friday. However, these rumors were later discredited.
The civil war in Yemen began in March 2015. That month Houthi rebels, who are Shia Muslims, took over portions of Yemen seeking to oust its Sunni-led government.
The civil war has killed thousands of people so far.