Goto’s wife breaks silence as Jordan demands proof that pilot is alive


Staff writer

Speaking for the first time since the outbreak of the hostage crisis last week, the wife of Kenji Goto, the Japanese journalist now being held by the Islamic State group, released an audio statement Thursday begging the Jordanian and Japanese governments to save her husband.

“My husband and I have two very young daughters. Our baby girl was only three weeks old when Kenji left,” a woman, who identified herself as Goto’s wife, Rinko, said in the statement reportedly made to BBC News Thursday.

“I want them both to grow up knowing their father. My husband is a good and honest man who went to Syria to show the plight of those who suffer,” she said.

“I beg the Jordanian and Japanese Government to understand that the fates of both men are in their hands.”

The Islamic State group has taken Goto hostage and demanded that Jordan release Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber now imprisoned in Jordan, in exchange for Goto.

The group set the deadline for the proposed prisoner swap at sunset, Mosul time of Iraq Thursday, which was believed to be 5:30 p.m. Iraq time and 11:30 p.m. Japan time.

The group threatened to kill both Goto and a Jordanian air force pilot, who is also being held by the group, if Amman fails to meet the deadline.

Shortly before the deadline, Amman announced Thursday night that the al-Rishawi was still in Jordan because the extremist group had yet to provide proof that the Jordanian pilot, Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, was still alive.

Jordan said it is ready to free al-Rishawi, a female prisoner on death row, in exchange for al-Kaseasbeh. Amman has also indicated that it has demanded the release of Goto along with the pilot in the deal.

“We asked for evidence that the pilot is still alive and we have not received anything yet. We insist on this demand,” Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani told reporters in Amman.

According to Rinko’s statement, which was posted on Twitter by BBC News and on SoundCloud by senior BBC producer Stuart Hughes, she exchanged several emails with the Islamic State group after the hostage crisis erupted on Jan. 20.

“In the past 20 hours the kidnappers have sent me what appears to be their latest and final demand,” she said.

“I fear that this is the last chance for my husband and we now have only a few hours left to secure his release and the life of Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh.”

Full coverage of the Islamic State hostage crisis

  • on the other hand

    maybe everyone in the ME needs to be neutered until the hatred goes away.
    When everyone dies off the region can be a museum of the failure of religions and peoples to tolerate each other.

    • naser20004

      Don’t forget the population of ME is around 300millions of which ISIS group is 10-20 thousands

      • on the other hand

        Is ISIS the only group crazy with hate?? No…the cesspool of hate is loaded with generations upon generation of revenge seekers.

    • Tap Hue

      Killing everyone would be what you call love and tolerance? I suppose you do not accept any authority in matters of faith except your own? It doesn’t look like your comment is helpful in getting Kenji and his wife to reunite.

  • Testerty

    Asking for mercy when sending military aids and Japanese to kill Muslims 8,000 km…. yap, that will work.

    • Tap Hue

      Japan is not a war against any Muslim country and in essence doesn’t even have an army. That it is killing Muslims 8,000 kms away is not only false, but also impossible.

    • Gordon Graham

      sarcasm mollifies ignorance

    • Viva75

      Typically ignorant and always anti-Japanese

  • Yoko Kobayashi

    isis is just cowardly group. they can only kill innocent people to show their mean spirits. they criticise US but they just can do the same.
    Mr.Goto is samurai, I know he doesn’t hesitate to die, because he left video message before he leave just in case about whatever happen is upon himself.
    we all Japanese can read his mind.
    but isis wants to use him effectively as much as possible.
    isis!!! we know what are you going to do, but we never failed!!!
    you will be more loser if you kill hostages.
    because, you are piling huge karma for your next rebirth!!!!!

  • Tap Hue

    Arabs are not entirely willing to fight the “Islamic State”. Is it because the militants are Muslims (or European Muslims like “Jihadi John”)? Americans themselves are apostate Christians. For them biblical commandments have no meaning.