Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil has been imprisoned by ISIS for over a year now. We have been following his story on While he is still alive, he may not be for much longer as in a recent video he has begged for help, saying that he is very sick and needs hospitalization

Uzhunnalil, 58, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March last year by a terror group. He had gone missing in Yemen after the Islamic State militant group attacked a care home run by Mother Teresas Missionaries of Charity.

Gunmen had stormed the refuge for the elderly in April last year and killed a Yemeni guard before tying up and shooting 15 other employees.

Four foreign nuns, including an Indian, working as nurses were among those killed.

Uzhunnalil was captured from the southern Yemeni city of Aden by gunmen who killed at least 15 people at an old people’s home in an attack that was condemned by Pope Francis.

In the video carried by Aden Time news website, a frail- looking priest said, “I am Father Tom Uzhunnalil. My date of birth is August 18, 1958. I received the message of concern that you sent me my dear family people. I am thankful to you. Thank you very much”.

“They (abductors) are treating me well to the extent that they are able. My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible.

“They contacted our Indian government authorities several times and I have seen the message of their response. It was very very poor,” the white-bearded Father says.

The date April 15, 2017 was scribbled on a piece of paper seen on his body.

“They also contacted Bishop, Bishop of Abu Dhabi. Their too response to us was not encouraging. Neither the Bishop nor the Indian government authorities asked them what they really want to get me released. It is a poor response and I am sad about that.

“My dear family people, do what you can to help me release. Please please do what you can which helps to get me release. May god bless you for that,” he added in the video.

The veracity of the video could not be ascertained.

It is not yet clear who was behind his abduction.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in December last year had said India will spare no effort to secure release of Tom Uzhunnalil.

Her remarks had come a day after a purported video by the priest appealing to the government to free him surfaced.

In that video, Tom was seen pleading for help from Indian government and fellow Christians including Pope Francis. However, the veracity of the video could not be ascertained.
Members of a Saudi-led coalition, which supports exiled president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, has been battling Huthi rebels and their allies since March 2015. (source)



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