The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 03/19/2009 10:30 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 03/20/2009 6:29 AM
TORONTO - A video of a Canadian journalist held captive in Pakistan surfaced on the Internet Thursday in which she said her captors would "probably" kill her by the end of the month if their demands weren't met.
"The time is now very short and my life is going to end," a pale and tired Beverly Giesbrecht says on the video before it fades out.
The Vancouver journalist is shown sitting in a chair with a dagger mounted on the wall behind her, pointed at her head.
"We have a very short time now, I'm going to be killed, as you can see," Giesbrecht says.
She also alluded to Piotr Stanczak, a kidnapped Polish engineer who was executed by militants last month
She said she was somewhere near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, but wasn't sure in which country she was being held.
The video was to be sent to the Pakistan government and the Canadian embassy, she said on the video.
A spokesperson with the Foreign Affairs Department in Ottawa said the Canadian government was aware of the video but had no further comment.
The group Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, said in a news release issued Thursday that the footage was sent Wednesday to a Pakistani media outlet.
The journalists' rights group expressed concern about the lack of progress in getting Giesbrecht freed.
Giesbrecht, who adopted the name Khadija Abdul Qahaar when she converted to Islam in 2002, was on a freelance assignment for the Al Jazeera network when she disappeared Nov. 11, 2008 while travelling in Pakistan near the Afghan border.
At least two other videos of Giesbrecht have been publicized since her kidnapping.
The specific ransom demands have never been clearly made public.
But a media report in January said the captors demanded the equivalent of about $150,000 and the release of some prisoners jailed in Afghanistan.
The Canadian government has said in the past that it was pursuing all appropriate channels to secure her release but would comment little out of fear of jeopardizing her safety.
Giesbrecht is one of three Canadian journalists who was kidnapped in the past year. Freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout has been held captive in Sudan for almost seven months. A CBC journalist was released after being held for 28 days in Afghanistan.
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