The father of John Cantlie, a British photojournalist held by the Islamic State militant group, says in a video message appealing for his release that he is proud of his son.

Paul Cantlie read the statement from his hospital bed after undergoing throat surgery.

He said Friday his son was an "impartial and respected journalist" who wanted to tell the world about Syria, "for the good of the people, as a friend and as a civilian."

"I want John to know how very proud I am of him," the 80-year-old said. He urged his son's captors "to help us and allow him to return safely to those he loves and those who love him."

John Cantlie appeared in a video released last month by the militant group.