Thursday, June 30, 2011

French media-reporters held detainee by Taliban return home safely

Two French news reporters detained hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan for 18 months are reached in France, flying into an airport near Paris.
Cameraman Stephane Taponier and reporter Herve Ghesquiere were released in conditions that remain not clear.
Both were abducted with Afghan fellows near Kabul in December 2009 while on task for French TV. Mr. Ghesquiere said they were both in fine health. "We were never endangered with death, never torture," he said.
The two French national, who were running for French state television network France-3, had become some of the longest-detention Western prisoners in Afghanistan.
"There are numbers of jails in the world, I think for those who are detain hostage, and those who passed away in actions when they attempted to save them," the 47 year-old journalist added.
"Up till now you have been a prisoner, you can't think but I certainly feel for them because it is over for us but still going for them."
Both the journalists, who had been set in with French troops in Afghanistan, firmed combine material from an area recognized locally as "the Black Hole".
In April 2010, after unveiling a video of the prisons on the internet, the Taliban said they had presented a list of detainees to French officials that they desired released in exchange for the two journalists.
Mr. Taponier, 46, and Mr Ghesquiere and one of the three Afghan companions with whom they were captured, interpreter Reza Din, were freed on Wednesday. French authorities have said that no money was paid for the men.
The other two Afghan interpreters had been freed some time ago, French authorities said.
After stepping on to the tarmac, the two holds waiting family members and shook hands with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife.
Mr. Ghesquiere, who was capture in lonely imprisonment for the previous eight months, said he did not regret over his choice to work in Afghanistan.
"It's what I forever desired to do. I don't want to return to Afghanistan tomorrow but I want to do this job now in excess of ever."

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