The State Department says it is evaluating a video released by the Afghan Taliban showing a Canadian man and his American wife warning that their Afghan captors will kill them and their children unless the Kabul government ends its executions of Taliban prisoners. The video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday shows Canadian Joshua Boyle and American Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped while traveling through Afghanistan in 2012, calling on Canada and the United States to pressure the Afghan government into changing its execution policy, reports the AP. Coleman has told her family that she gave birth to two children in captivity.
"We remain concerned, obviously, about the welfare of Caitlan and her family, and we continue to urge for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds," State Department spokesman John Kirby said. In the video, the scraggily bearded Boyle said the couple's captors "are terrified of the thought of their own mortality approaching, and are saying that they will take reprisals on our family. They will execute us, women and children included, if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned." Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tells the AP that the video was not new and had in fact been recorded in 2015. He says Boyle and Coleman and their two children remained in captivity but in good health. (An Australian aid worker kidnapped in April has now been released.)