Published on Jun 9, 2012
Syrian rebels holding 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims hostage said they would release the men when their country had established a new "civil state" but left room for negotiations, a video obtained by Al Jazeera showed.
The hostages said in the video they were in good health and being treated well.
"The guests will be released by the Syrian civil state when their case is reviewed by a new democratic parliament," the rebels said in a written statement on the video.
The Lebanese hostages were on a bus that was stopped by gunmen on May 22 as it crossed into northern Syria from Turkey on its way home from a pilgrimage to Iran.
The gunmen released the women and kept the men.
The video showed all 11 hostages speaking and ended with a written statement from the kidnappers.
Below is a translation from Arabic of what was said in the footage:
Sot: I am Hussain Omar. I want to tell my family that i am very fine. The revolutionaries are very kind to me and are treating me very well.
Sot: I am Jameel Saleh. I am fine. My health is alright. We consider ourselves guests here and you can call us guests. I cut my hair here and the one who did it for me is Haj Abbas.
I am Haj Abbas Shoeib. My health is fine as you can see. My family members in Beirut do not need to worry about me.
I am Ali Zugheib. We need to tell everyone that we are very fine. We are in good health and we are staying with people who are very honest, even more than we can imagine. Praise be to Allah.
I am Mohammad Monzer from Baalbek. Thank God I am OK, and many thanks to those with whom we are staying now.
I am Awad Ibrahim. My message to my family is that I am fine and OK. We have not seen any bad things here.
I am Ali Tarmas from Lebanon. We are on the 5th or 6th of June and I want to tell my family that I am fine. I also want to thank those guys whom we are staying with them because they exert every effort for us to feel well.
I am Hasan Hammoud. Thank God we are fine and the guys here are treating us very well as if we are members of their families.
I am Haj Abbas Hammoud from Jeheem, in Tyre. I want to tell my mother and the rest of my family that I am very well here. I live here as if I am with my family.
I am Hasan Arzoumi. I need to tell my family that I am fine here. I am more than fine thank God.
I am Assayed Ali Abbas. Every one who worries about me has to know has to know that we are nor kidnapped or abducted here. We are guests here and we are hosted by the Syrian revolutionaries and we will go back to our families very soon.
(once again ) Haj Abbas Shoeib : First of all we condemn the massacre of Al-Houla committed by the unfair perpetrators. We also support the Syrian people and we tell our people in Lebanon they must follow the steps of the Syrians and revolt against all injustices. You know seeing is believing... we have seen here that we are guests and we are well hosted by our the revolutionaries. From my heart I ask Allah Almighty to help them to soon achieve the victory. I am saying this from my heart without any pressures and no one is putting his gun on my head asking me to say so. We all here support the Syrian people and our blood is for them.
Statement No. 2
We the revolutionaries of Syria announce the following:
1)- All the eleven Lebanese guest are fine and in good health
2)- We reject everything said in the media by those who claimed they are spokespersons for the revolutionaries simply because we have no contacts or relations with them at all. We only recognize what we've said in our first statement when we ask for an apology from Hasan Nasr Allah.
3)- Our guests will return back via the Civil State in Syria following the discussion of their case in the new democratic parliament. But due to the current circumstances, and after some consultations, they might be delivered to any of the neighboring countries.