ITALY NEWS

Video shows hostage alive

Afghan TV airs footage of Clementina Cantoni
(issue no. 7/2005 / June 2, 2005)

The first video footage of the Italian aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan on May 16th was aired on a private Afghan television station last Saturday.

 

Cantoni, 32, seemed to be in good health, although she was missing her glasses and seemed to be confused about the date.

 

The video shows Cantoni seated on the floor, wrapped in a brown blanket and with a blue wrap covering her head. She is sitting between two unidentifiable men who are aiming rifles at her.

 

Cantoni was abducted from a car in Kabul last May 16th, and hostages claim that they will hold her until it is agreed that one of the abductors’ mothers be released from prison.

 

Ms. Cantoni has been in Afghanistan since 2003 and works for Care International, managing a support programme for over 10,000 widows and their children.

 

A disagreement recently broke out over Italian intervention in the mediations for Cantoni’s release. Afghan authorities claimed that such intervention would be detrimental to the negotiation process. To the contrary, Prime Minister Berlusconi stated that he was confident Cantoni would soon be freed.

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