The Islamic State is allegedly selling two foreign nationals it has been holding hostage. In the latest issue of its English-language propaganda magazine Dabiq, Isis has listed two hostages from Norway and China as being "for sale."
The two prisoners were identified as 48-year-old Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad from Oslo and 50-year-old Fan Jinghui from Beijing. According to VICE News, the full-page adverts show pictures of the two men in yellow jumpsuits.
The images say the men are "for sale" and list a "telegram number" for "whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer." VICE News noted that Telegram may refer to the secure message app that allows users to message other people without needing their number. Each photo contains the men's date of birth, occupation/education and place of birth.
"To whom it may concern of the pagans, crusaders, and their allies, as well as what are referred to as human 'rights' organizations: This Chinese/Norwegian prisoner was abandoned by his government, which did not do its utmost to purchase his freedom," is written below each prisoner's photo.
VICE News reported that Grimsgaard-Ofstad first posted a photo on his Facebook account near the Turkish-Syrian border on 18 January. Just six days later, the Norwegian updated his account to state he had reached the Syrian province of Idlib.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed on 9 September that a Norwegian citizen in his 40s had been taken hostage in Syria towards the end of January. "Our goal is to get our citizen home," Solberg said. "Let me be very clear — this is a very demanding case."
However, Solberg stressed that Norway was not willing to pay a ransom, CNN reported. "This is a matter that the government is taking very seriously. We neither can nor will give in to pressure from terrorists and criminals. Norway does not pay ransom," she said. "This is a principle we cannot depart from in the face of cynical terrorists. Payment of ransom would increase the risk that other Norwegian nationals will be taken hostage."
Chinese officials have not commented on Jinghui's kidnapping or apparent sale, the Associated Press reported.