:: Wednesday, 18 May 2005 ::
Poverina Clementina Cantoni - kidnapped in Afghanistan
By a madman who is threatening to kill her.
"If our demands are not accepted ... we will show our reaction and finish her," he said.
He demanded that the government set up more Islamic boarding schools in Afghanistan, that authorities provide "alternative livelihoods" for farmers who are being forced to stop growing opium, and that independent radio station Arman stop broadcasting a programme about young people's social issues.
He did not say why he opposed the show.
Shah also said Cantoni's health was "very critical," adding that she had internal bleeding, was vomiting and had not eaten in three days.
He said she hurt her head during her abduction, when four men dragged her from her car in Kabul on Monday night.
Barker said the demands made in the interview were different from others Shah had made previously.
Those demands included more Islamic education in schools, the eradication of opium farming and a halt to the sale of alcohol, Barker said.
Authorities have said they suspect Cantoni was kidnapped by the same criminal gang accused of abducting three UN workers last year.
The Italian government said on Tuesday that contact had been made with the kidnappers and that the hostage was unhurt.
Madness. What a medieval violent thug. Horrible. Let her go, dammit. Stop with the kidnapping, whether it is Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere. Stop it. It is a disgrace.
:: WB 2:39 pm [link+] ::