I went on hunger strike: UK journalist -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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I went on hunger strike: UK journalist

LONDON- Freed British journalist Yvonne Ridley told how she went on hunger strike while being held captive by Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban.

In an article in the Daily Express, her employer’s sister paper, she wrote: ‘Hunger strike was the only weapon I had. It was the only thing I could do that they couldn’t stop me doing.’

Ridley said she took the action from the moment she was captured, because of anger at being refused telephone access.

The Taliban handed the 43 year-old Sunday Express reporter over to Pakistani officials, ten days after she was captured on suspicion of spying.

There were no details about the fate of two Afghan guides arrested with her.

Ridley told the paper how she kept a secret diary using the inside of a toothpaste box and a soap wrapper and how she had been segregated from the other prisoners because she was so ‘difficult’.

She admitted she was never physically hurt, but said her captors tried to break her mentally by asking the same questions ‘time and time again, day after day’.

The mother of one said she was far more fearful of what her mother had to say than anything the Taliban could do to her.

Soon after her release, Ridley spoke of her delight at being freed and her desperation to return home to see her daughter Daisy.

‘Obviously I am delighted to be free after 10 days under arrest,’ she said in a statement released by Express Newspapers.

‘I would like to thank all those who have worked for my release, including the Foreign Office, the Pakistan government and of course my company Express Newspaper.

Source: The Nation
Date:10/10/2001