A couple that was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2012 have re-emerged in a chilling new video.
Appearing alongside them in the video are their two children who were born to the couple while in captivity.
Joshua Boyle, 33, of Toronto, Canada and Caitlan Coleman, 31, from Pennsylvania were kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2012 and have been held in captivity ever since.
The couple was kidnapped while traveling through the Wardak province of Afghanistan, when Coleman was seven-months pregnant at the time.
According to family members, the couple set off to travel countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and then finally to Afghanistan.
They had plans to return home in December prior to Coleman’s due date, but they checked in regularly via email during their trip.
On October 8, 2012 the communication abruptly ended. The last email the family received was from Boyle from what he called an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.
Last August, in the first video released of the Western couple, Boyle and Coleman pleaded with the Afghani government to halt the execution of Taliban prisoners. They warned that if the government didn’t comply, their captors would kill everyone – including the women and children.
“I am prisoner of the Taliban. I would ask that my family and my government do everything that they can to bring my husband, child and I to safety and freedom. We request the American government do what is necessary to bring our family together in safety and freedom.”
Last year, Coleman sent a letter to her family expressing her desire to be freed from captivity.
“I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing,” the letter said.
Coleman’s family recorded a video directed at the Taliban’s chief, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, begging him to show their daughter mercy after they received the disheartening letter.
Coleman’s father said, “‘Thank you for sharing such wonderful news. These blessings brought us great joy. Such news has also brought us great sorrow. We desperately want to be with our daughter and hold our grandsons, who we long to meet and care for. As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband, and our beautiful grandchildren.”
“Please grant them an opportunity to continue their lives with us, and bring peace to their families,” he continued.
Coleman’s mother, who was wearing a headscarf in the video message, said, “I really need to see my grandsons. I imagine them all the time, I imagine them and Caity all the time… Every day is so hard, every day is so hard to get through. What an amazing thing. I have two grandsons, she says. I really, really need them home.”
Coleman and her husband gave birth to a second child since their time in captivity. In the most recent proof of life video released, both children appear alongside Coleman and Boyle.
In footage purportedly filmed on December 3rd Coleman said, “We are living in a Kafkaesque nightmare. We can only ask and pray that someone will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us.”
She added, “My children have seen their mother defiled.”
Coleman called on President Obama to aid in their release prior to his term ending. She urged him to give their, “offenders something, so they and you can save face.”
Coleman than addressed President-elect Donald Trump, asking him to aid in their release by giving the captors what they want; “money, power, friends.”
Coleman instructs her audience that the American government was also not to harm any Afghans in its custody saying, “God willing, they will release us.”
Boyle sharing that he doubted either Obama or Trump would see the footage. “It’s been more than four years (since the kidnap) so I please with you to be quick,” he added.
Boyle continued, “We have been told that the Afghan government has executed some of their prisoners… our captors are frightened by the idea of further execution or further death. Because of their fear they are willing to kill us, willing to kill women, to kill children, to kill whomever, in order to get these policies reversed or take revenge.”
Coleman asked that the government do something to change policies before “these men start executing their prisoners.” She also addressed her family, asking them to do whatever they could to assist in a positive outcome.
“If you are able to do anything to help, if you could please try to help stop this depravity,” she says.
According to The Daily Beast, they spoke with a Taliban member about the family. The member told them that the family is healthy and are held in a place that offers them room to exercise.
In August, U.S. officials said that they are working to create a deal which would free the family.
Army General Joseph Votel, who leads U.S. Central Command, told reporters, “Certainly when Americans are taken captive, this becomes an immediate priority for us. We are paying extraordinarily close attention to that. We always do. I won’t get into too many details with that. But I am satisfied that we are doing everything we can at this juncture to understand who took them and try to bring them back.”
The Daily Mail reported that the “Canadian government was reportedly close to finalizing a deal with Haqqani recently but the deal fell through when Boyle refused to leave his wife and two kids behind.”
Below is the 2014 video released of the family.
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