ISIS captive John Cantlie’s father dies after pleading for son’s release

WATCH ABOVE: In a heartbreaking video to his son’s ISIS captors, the father of John Cantlie spoke from a hospital bed—he recently had a tracheotomy—and pleaded for his son’s life. (Oct. 3)

The father of John Cantlie, the British photojournalist who has been held hostage by ISIS for nearly two years and made to appear in a series of propaganda videos, has died in a U.K. hospital.

Paul Cantilie made a plea for his son’s release from his hospital bed earlier this month.

The 80-year-old died “from complications following pneumonia,” Sky News reported, citing a family statement.

“Paul died not knowing whether John’s captors had received any of the messages he had sent to them,” the statement read. “The failure of communication to date has inevitably led to a terrible sense of abandonment, particularly for John’s father, with the family feeling ignored.”

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Paul Cantlie, in the video taken after a recent tracheotomy, said he and his family were relieved to learn his son was still alive after seeing the first of the ISIS propaganda videos, called “Lend Me Your Ears, Messages from the British Detainee John Cantlie.”

A fourth video featuring John Cantlie, delivering a critical message to Western governments now trying to eliminate ISIS, was released on Oct. 16.

“To those holding John, please know that he is a good man. He’s only there to help the Syrian people,” Paul Cantlie said in his message to ISIS, posted online on Oct. 3. “I ask you, from all that is sacred, to help us and allow him to return home safely and to those he loves and who love him.”

The Cantlie family said their father’s health had deteriorated since his son was taken hostage in Syria.

“This burden has been especially hard these last few days, as we have so needed to tell John that his father, whom he so loved, has died,” the family added in its statement.

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John Cantlie is one of several foreign journalists and aid workers ISIS has taken hostage. Since August, the militant group has killed four Western journalists and aid workers — U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning. Videos of their murders were posted online.

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In the video of Henning’s execution, posted online Oct. 4, an ISIS militant threatened the life of U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig.

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