Taliban video
The two Taliban hostages pleading to the US government to help them get back home. Youtube/Taliban video

A disturbing new video has been released by the Taliban recently, showing two Western hostages pleading with US President-elect Donald Trump to establish negotiation with the terrorist organisation for their release. The distressing video, which was recorded Jan. 1, also shows an Australian national among the captives.

Identifying himself as Timothy John Weekes, the Kabul-based American University of Afghanistan teacher from Australia said in the video they were abducted from outside the university campus on Aug. 9, and that they had “been here for five months." The English professor didn’t however specify their location.

The video showcases the two professors seated in front of a light-purple curtain, weeping and urging the US government as well as the university to contemplate prisoner exchange so that they can go to home and “see our families again.” The other hostage, purpotedly an American, has identified himself as Kevin King, working in the same university as Weekes.

Weekes also said that the Taliban has, for now, taken care of them. “The Taliban look after us here. They feed us well, we eat what they eat,” he said. Nonetheless, he added that the group won’t be patient for long and might as well kill them if resolution is delayed.

"This is a message for the President-elect Donald Trump," Weekes said. "I ask you, please . . . please negotiate with the Taliban. If you do not negotiate with them, we will be killed."

According to a report by the Australian Financial Review, the 13-minute, 35-second video could not be independently verified. That being said, the report states that the video was emailed to reporters by a Taliban spokesperson and that it was widely shared by the outfit’s social media account.

As told by Weekes in the video, the Taliban, wanted its “soldiers” to be released from Bagram and Pul-i-Charki prisons. "I don't know how much longer I can go," Weekes further said, with tears rolling off his eyes. "I don't want to die here."

The video comes after a US Special Operations team carried out a secret raid in August last year in an attempt to rescue the two hostages, which eventually failed. According to a News.com.au report, US President Barack Obama authorised the raid in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. The Pentagon, however, announced later that the hostages couldn’t be found.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has since requested major news publications to take the video off their sites, citing "the serious implications and threat to human life." The American University of Afghanistan was not immediately available for comment.