New video emerges of Czech backpackers kidnapped in Pakistan

Hana Humpálová, photo: YouTube

The Czech Foreign Ministry has released a new video showing two Czech women kidnapped in southwest Pakistan. The two, looking pale and exhausted, said they feared they will be killed by their captors and called on the Czech government to secure their release. The ministry has also released a video recorded by the women’s mothers.

Hana Humpálová, photo: YouTube
Hana Humpálová, 24, and Antonie Chrástecká, 25, went missing in March as they travelled through Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province en route to India. This newly released video – originally given to the Czech Embassy in Islamabad - is the second recording to be made public since the women went missing. In it the two, wearing headscarves and looking drawn and despondent, appeal to the Czech authorities to put pressure on the Pakistani government to negotiate with the kidnappers. Hana Humpálová is the first to speak.

“My health condition is very unstable mainly because of the food and water, and it’s getting worse. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to handle this situation, so I strongly urge the people handling this matter to speed up the process. I’m also concerned about my friend who was with me, because I’m not sure if she is dead or life. And now I don’t know how much time I have left because these guys take their action from which you will not hear from me again.”

In the video, which she said was recorded in August, she then goes on to read her last will and testament, telling her family where she wants to be buried, before breaking down. Her friend Antonie is apparently being held separately, as the two don’t seem to know what’s happened to each other. She then appears on camera.

“Please I am asking the Czech government to help me to go home soon. Please make the biggest pressure to the Pakistani government to cooperate with my kidnappers. Please give them what they want. Please help me to go home soon. Thank you.”

The first video appeared on the Facebook page of a Czech TV station in June, three months after they were seized. In that video, the two called for the release of the Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui. She was sentenced three years ago to 86 years in prison in New York for trying to kill US federal agents in Afghanistan.

Antonie Chrástecká, photo: YouTube
The Foreign Ministry also released a video made by the mothers of the two women, who were both seasoned travellers.

“We thank the people who are holding our daughters for video message. We were very happy to see that our children are well.”

“Antonia and Hana are young and good girls, who are always helping anyone in need. They went to your country with full respect to your culture and tradition. We believe you are taking good care of them, and we are grateful.”

Earlier in October President Miloš Zeman said negotiations were being held to secure their release. The Foreign Ministry has said so far no formal ransom demand has been made.