With the deadline that ISIS has declared for its demands to be met for the life of the Croatian taken hostage last month in Egypt by the militant group approaching, concerns about his fate continue to increase.
Tomislav Salopek, an employee of a French geophysical services company, was kidnapped by ISIS on July 22 near the province of Cairo while he was on his way back to the city.
According to Al Jazeera, the Croatian hostage is held by a group once known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, but the group has changed its name to Province of Sinai after pledging allegiance to ISIS in the November last year.
On Wednesday, a footage was released showing Salopek, the Croatian hostage, kneeling down in front of a masked militant in fatigues with a knife visible in his hand in an unknown location. The black flag of ISIS is propped up next to Salopek.
He was reading a statement from ISIS, in which the group demands the release of female prisoners in Egyptian jails.
“I am thirty years old and I come from Croatia. They want to substitute me with Muslim women arrested in Egyptian prisons," said Salopek, dressed in the usual orange jumpsuit ISIS hostages wear.
"This matter needs to be achieved within 48 hours. If not, the soldiers from Wilayat Sinai will kill me,” he added.
This is the first case of a Croatian being kidnapped in a foreign country, according to the Croatian government.
Many Egyptian women have been imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities since 2013, they are being accused of coordinating with the Muslim Brotherhood which is banned in Egypt after the first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi was ousted in Egypt by Abdulfattah al Sisi.
On Thursday, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic travelled to Cairo to meet with the Egyptian authorities.