BEIRUT, Lebanon— A kidnapped British journalist appeared on a videotape message Saturday, looking haggard and appealing for Britain to help win his freedom. It was the first time he had been heard from in seven months.

The tape of Alec Collett, 64, was flung from a speeding car Friday night near the An Nahar Newspaper building in mainly Moslem West Beirut.

“T assure you that time is short both for me and the jacket and checkered shirt, said on the videotape. “This party that has taken me wants to reach and end to my situation quietly.”

Collett was referring to a group calling itself the Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Moslems, which claimed responsibility for kidnapping him March 25 ass he drove near Beirut airport.

The same group has taken responsibility for attacks in the past two years against British interests in other areas of the world.

Collett, a New York City resident who was on assignment in Lebanon for the United Nations when he was abducted by a carload of gunmen, reiterated on the tape that his captors want British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to free “a number of Arabs and Moslems” jailed in Britain.

Collett appealed to U.N. Secretary—General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Thatcher and his fellow Englishmen to have the released prisoners sent either to Algeria.

South Yemen, Nicaragua, Cuba or Ethiopia. Collett, married to an American, said he was being kept in “harsh conditions” but gave no other details on the tape. The last word from him came in a similar message delivered to his wife in May.

“The party I am held by has given me a solemn oath and undertaking that on the very day this (release) occurs it will hand me to. a… patriot, Mr. Musafa Saga, in Sidon,” Collett said on the tape, referring to the ancient Mediterranean port about 25 miles south of Beirut.





Article extracted from this publication >>  December 27, 1985