Although we hardly received news of the Exterior, we always had full consciousness of the global impact that would end up having that hostage crisis. We were 19 men Y four women, most cooperators or journalists, captured in various parts of Syria from end of 2012 until the fall of 2013, and progressively concentrated in a Secret place from the north of the country by the self-proclaimed Islamic State for the Levant and Iraq (ISIS) that later would be called Islamic State (IS) to dry, a extremist group of recent training that exceeded in radicalism Y brutality seen until then.

The main countries belonging to what the media often called 'the West' were duly represented there: USA, Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Denmark& mldr; Going through cellars and dungeons whose dimensions, in most cases, did not exceed 20 square meters, we formed a motley group of prisoners with a human density that very probably exceeded what was lived decade before, during the Iraq war, when the al Qaeda militias in Mesopotamia led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi They abducted European and American activists, contractors and journalists.

Irrationality and cruelty

The participation of extremists born and coming from countries such as France or the UK not only constituted a novelty with regard to what happened in the Mesopotamian country Ten years ago, but added a point of irrationality Y cruelty to the confinement. After all, what many of my colleagues were living in Syria was a kidnapping at the hands of their own fellow citizens, that is, British or French individuals who imprisoned, mistreated or beat people of the same nationality.

The crisis began in November 2013, with the capture of John Cantley, British photographer, and James Foley, an American freelance journalist who worked for an online publication of Boston. In the following months, journalists and aid workers were randomly detained in Syria, as radical forces and foreign fighters were imposing their views among the Syrian insurgency, separating it from its original objective, consisting of knock down the regime of Bashar the Assad, and initiate a democratic transition, and directing it towards the formation of an alleged caliphate in the north of Syria where a aberrant version of the Islamic religion.

One month in solitary confinement

James and John were followed by Italian Federico Motka, the British David Haines, the Danish Daniel Ottosen, the French Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin Y Pierre Torres, the North American Steven Sotloff… I was captured in early September 2013 around Hama. And after spending a month confined to insulation regime In a cell in a hospital in Aleppo converted into a prison, I was transferred to an abandoned building on the outskirts of the second Syrian city, where I joined the bulk of the hostages. My Spanish colleagues Javier Espinosa Y Ricard García Vilanova, captured near Tel Abyad at the end of September, joined us shortly before the end of 2013.

The Syrian Guantanamo

Three masked British radicals, whose accent revealed their London origin, assumed the operation management. Cantley baptized them with the nickname of the Beatles, for their tendency to hit us every time they visited us (in English, 'to beat us up'). His idea was to recreate, in a mansion north of Syria, a luck of Guantánamo for western prisoners, where we would be given the same treatment that the United States gives to the radicals in the Cuban base. We would dress orange jumpsuit -The same color of the prison garments on the Caribbean island- with an Arabic number on the back, our unique identification.

The 'Syrian Guantanamo' finally had a very short life. We arrived there at the end of 2013, but at the beginning of 2014, the continuous problems of the Islamic State or Daesh with the rest of the Syrian insurgent militias Finally, they propped up their expulsion from Aleppo 'manu militari', forcing our captors to rush to Raqqa, a city 200 kilometers to the east and already converted into the capital of the ultra-radicals, in a mad flight aboard a convoy that for several days roamed the Syrian desert. The period that we stayed there can be considered as the critical moment of the kidnapping. The British kidnappers lived just a few meters away from us, they watched us permanently and subjected us daily to their occurrences and follies.

At the beginning of March, I was separated from the group, transferred to the Turkish border and finally released. Then Javier, Ricardo and the others would follow. But in August of that year, when only British and American hostages were left of our group, the international coalition led by the US began its campaign of bombing against the United States. self-proclaimed caliphate. And James, Steven, David, Alan, Peter or Kayla, all of them companions of captivity, they ended up running the luck of everyone known.





They went together

First public execution

You do not know

If he lives or died in

a bombardment.


British said in

February 2019

he was alive

Other prisoners saw

the video of his murder





the date

Five workers

of Doctors Without Borders

They were kidnapped

in a hospital in January.

Three were released in

April and two, in May

(tagsToTranslate) marc marginedas (t) syria (t) war of siira (t) kidnappings


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