UK Government called on to renew efforts to free Brit journalist John Cantlie from Islamic State captors

Press campaign group Reporters Without Borders has called on the UK government to renew efforts to free British journalist John Cantlie, who was captured by Islamic State five years ago.

The former Sunday Times reporter was kidnapped while in Syria on 22 November, 2012, along with US journalist James Foley, who was executed by Islamic State (Isis) two years later.

Cantlie (pictured) has featured in 12 Isis propaganda videos since being taken into captivity, according to Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres – RSF).

He last appeared in a video in December 2016 that showed him “looking pale and emaciated” and marking a “dramatic physical change” since he was last seen on tape in July the same year, said RSF.

RSF’s UK bureau director Rebecca Vincent said: “Today marks five long years that John Cantlie has been held in captivity by the Islamic State – five years deprived of his liberty, exploited, and used for propaganda purposes.

“We urge all relevant authorities to do their utmost to ensure that John and his family do not have to endure another day of this hell, and that he is immediately brought home safely.”

Cantlie remains one of around 22 journalists and media contributors currently believed to be held hostage by Isis and whose fate is unknown.

RSF called on local and international authorities to “redouble their efforts to find them all and bring them home safely”.

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