The father of a British photojournalist held by the Islamic State group has died just weeks after he appealed from his hospital bed for the militants to release his son.

Paul Cantlie was recovering from throat surgery when he recorded a video he hoped would be seen by those holding his son, John, who he called an impartial journalist who wanted to tell the world about Syria.

Cantlie, 80, said "I want John to know how very proud I am of him."

The family says in a statement Wednesday that Paul Cantlie's strength had been waning since his son was taken hostage nearly two years ago. He died of pneumonia last week.

The family says Paul Cantlie died not knowing whether his son's captors had received messages sent to them.