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Analysis: KR Magazine founder Mark Lowe – Their Story – Insights from the Daesh hostages

This week KR Magazine’s founder Mark Lowe considers the insights from the BBC’s interview with four men held hostage by Daesh.

Their Story – Insights from the Daesh hostages

Lyse Doucet, the BBC’s Chief international correspondent, recently sat down and had a long conversation with a group of former hostages who had been held by Islamic State in Syria.

An edited transcript of their conversation, recorded for a Radio broadcast, can be read on the BBC website while the programme itself is available as an iPlayer podcast.

Doucet interviewed former hostages Federico Motka, Daniel Rye Ottosen, Pierre Torres and Didier Francois. Their candid and honest conversation reveals a number of very intimate moments of the group’s captivity.

If only briefly, and if only partially, their comments, reflections and observations allow the reader and listener to appreciate what life as a hostage was for these four very different individuals.

What emerges is the concept of captivity as a place; a location where a captive is held and where they suffer both physically and psychologically.

The more cynical amongst us  …..well, let’s give the more cynical the opportunity to read this article with an open mind. Comments and discussions can be left on the KR Magazine LinkedIn page below the link to this article, in fact I’ll be the first to comment and I hope that we can open a discussion that will give all the chance to express their own comments.

One of the beauties of this article and podcast is that while allowing us privileged access to what these men were subjected to and how they fought to maintain their health, dignity and sanity, a number of important issues are raised that, while having a huge impact of the hostages’ stories, are factors far outwith their influence.

Four hostages, two French, one Italian and one Dane fell into the hands of one of the most radical groups in contemporary history. All were afraid of dying at the hands of IS, all did their best to survive and to help their fellow prisoners.

This is an insight into their story, many of us will focus on issues such as countries that pay and countries that don’t, some of us may ask what these four men were doing there, some of us will try and glean tips and hints to integrate into our courses …in fact quite a few will do exactly this and it is perfectly legitimate to do so.

Four very diverse men coming to terms with the trauma of being held by extremists, four men who know that the only individuals capable of understanding them are other hostages, four men that, through have been forced together and having had to deal with the unimaginable, have forged bonds of friendship that will last them all of the lives.

This is a brief glimpse into their world.

How four men survived as hostages of IS

By Lyse Doucet, Chief international correspondent

In his classic novel 1984, George Orwell writes about Room 101 – a torture chamber where you are subjected to your worst nightmare, the worst thing in the world, to break your resistance.

To survive any such place of profound pain is the greatest of gifts, a triumph of the human spirit. In our time, surviving brutal captivity at the hands of so-called Islamic State in Syria must certainly count as such a triumph.

When four former hostages came together this month for their first reunion since they were freed, at different times, two years ago, it was a….[click here to access full story]


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