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Kidnapped Italian Reporter Seen on Video

danieleThe Italian reporter kidnapped in Afghanistan has been seen on video, appealing to the Italian government to work for his release. The videotape, apparently recorded on March 12, has Daniele Mastrogiacomo saying, “Today is March 12, it is 8 am in Afghanistan. I would like to say that I am well and launch this appeal to the government: free me. Two Afghan colleagues and I illegally entered their territory and so I appeal to the Italian government and Premier Romano Prodi to attempt anything possible to secure our release.” Mastrogiacomo did say he was convinced things would end well, and Prodi’s office said they were trying to obtain the reporter’s release as soon as possible.

Then on March 15, an audio recording of Mastrogiacomo was delivered (recorded on the 13th) which said he would be killed in two days if the kidnappers’ demands weren’t met. Their principal demand is the release of three members of the Taliban who are currently in jail. Today there are indications that they may have more time. Mastrogiacomo’s Afghan driver, however, is reported to have been killed by the same people holding the Italian reporter.