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Jesuit Priest Threatened With Death If He Returns to Afghanistan

Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar Released After 8 Month Captivity

Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar revealed that prior to his release, those who held him hostage threatened to kill him if he ever returned. The Indian Jesuit priest worked in Afghanistan for 3 years as director of the Jesuit Refugee Services(JRS).

On June 2nd, 2014, Kumar was kidnapped at gunpoint during a visit to a JRS-supported school in a village in Sohadat. On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government negotiated and secured Kumar’s release.

At a press conference following his release, Kumar recalled the horrors of his captivity, saying that his hands and legs were chained. He also said that he was allowed to go to the bathroom one every 12 hours and was always accompanied by an armed guard.

“I had to drink less water to control (urine) output and things like this affected me and I had to battle health issues,” he said according to ZeeNews India.

“There were no issues for three years and I was familiar with the terrain as well,” Kumar said. “I was always told by my abductors that I would be freed soon,” he said. The Indian Jesuit priest said that he is not sure about the identity of his captors, though it is widely believed that the Taliban are responsible.

While unsure regarding the reasons for his abduction or the parameters that secured his release, Fr. Kumar expressed his thanks to Prime Minister Modi and embassy officials in Afghanistan for helping him obtain his freedom

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