In a mobile-quality video shot shortly before setting out to ISIS stronghold Al-Raqqa city, Japanese Journalist Kenji Goto said the Syrian people have been suffering for three years and a half, and that he intends to report on ISIS and their actions in Syria. “It’s enough,” he exclaimed.
On February 1, the world awoke to the news of Goto’s death at the heads of the group’s insurgents, only a few days after his wife’s plea to spare his life.
According to Rinko, Goto was captured by the extremist group on October 25, 2014. “Since then I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes for his release,” she said in the recorded statement. “I have not spoken out until now as I have been trying to protect my children and family from the media attention Kenji’s plight has created around the world.”
The wife cautiously narrated the progression of events, noting that the insurgents contacted her via email on December 2, 2014. Nevertheless, after the release of a video demanding a monetary ransom of $200 million dollars for both Goto and Haruna Yukawa almost a month and a half later, “there have been several emails between the group and me as I have fought to save his life,” she added.
However, the group beheaded Yukawa after the deadline for ransom passed. They then informed Rinko of their final demand, which offered to release Goto if the Jordanian authorities released Iraqi suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi from its prisons in return.
The insurgents demanded that Rinko shares this with “the world media now,” or Goto’s life as well as that of captured Jordanian Pilot Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh would be at stake. Despite her compliance and repeated efforts to save his life, the extremist group purportedly beheaded Goto on film, releasing it later.
A Global Outcry
Perhaps the biggest testament of Goto’s impact on people’s lives is the global outcry against the extremist group’s latest act. The world refuses to remember Goto for what IS had done to him. Instead, many such as Karim celebrate him for the compassion he had for those in conflict zones.
Read more: globalvoicesonline.org Written by Nour Al Ali