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Foreign Ministry demands release of Finnish hostage after ransom video

A video has circulated on social media purporting to be that of a Finnish woman kidnapped in Kabul in May. The Foreign Ministry has asked people not to publicly share any material related to the kidnapping, saying that it could endanger her life.

Kabulissa sijaitseva kansainvälinen vierasmaja, johon hyökättiin 20. toukokuuta. Suomalaisnainen siepattiin, saksalainen nainen ja paikallinen vartija tapettiin.
The guest house attacked in May by kidnappers who took a Finnish woman hostage. Image: Jawad Jalali / EPA

A video of a woman speaking in English, asking that money be paid to her kidnappers has circulated on social media. The woman claims to be a Finnish aid worker kidnapped by militants in Kabul in May.

On 20 May a Finn was kidnapped in Kabul, in a raid that killed a German aid worker and an Afghan guard. Afghan authorities are investigating that incident, although Finnish police and armed forces have also assisted.

The Foreign Ministry has requested that no material connected to the kidnapping be disseminated - on social media or otherwise - as that could endanger the kidnapped woman and worsen her situation.

"We condemn the kidnapping, as well as all blackmail and cruelty associated with it," said Foreign Minister Timo Soini in a statement. "We demand the immediate release of the kidnappee."

Ransom demand

The woman in the video requests help from the Christian community. She says in English that she had come to Kabul five months ago to work with a Christian organisation, before she was kidnapped two months ago.

She then requests that Christians send money to her captors to secure her release.

The aid organization Operation Mercy did not immediately confirm to Yle that the woman in the video is their employee. The kidnapped woman had worked for the Swedish organization in Kabul.

The Foreign Ministry has declined to comment further on the video, and the kidnapped woman’s family has requested that their privacy be respected.

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