Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 16th 2015 Contents A21
Monday, March 16, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---A former hostage held in
Syria by Islamic State extremists for
more than six months has described
mock executions and other forms of
psychological torture against him and
Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa
wrote in The Sunday Times that mil-
itant Mohammed Emwazi played a lead
role in the mock executions. Emwazi,
a Londoner nicknamed "Jihadi John,"
is believed to have played a central role
in a series of beheading videos.
Espinosa, who works for El Mundo
and was on assignment for the Spanish
daily when he was abducted in Sep-
tember 2013, characterised Emwazi as
a bloodthirsty psychopath who enjoyed
threatening him and other Western
He said Emwazi "caressed" his neck
with a long blade and described how
he would behead Espinosa: " Feel it?
Cold, isn t it? Can you imagine the pain
you ll feel when it cuts? Unimaginable
pain, " he quoted Emwazi as saying.
Emwazi went on to describe precisely
how the beheading would occur, the
former hostage said, and explained
where he would place Espinosa s head
once it had been done.
Espinosa described how the militants
took pleasure in telling their more than
20 hostages each day that they would
be beheaded. He said Emwazi used an
antique sword for the mock executions
and followed up by placing a Glock pis-
tol against his head and pulling the trig-
ger three times.
Espinosa said he and the other
hostages dubbed three English jihadis
who were part of the Islamic Stage
group The Beatles---even though the
world-famous Liverpool band had four
members. The nickname "Jihadi John"---
which later caught on in the British
press---is a reference to former Beatle
Espinosa was released in March 2014
after being held captive for 194 days.
Most of the hostages were eventually
released, but seven have died, including
at least six who were killed, and one is
known to still be a captive.
Marc Marginedas, a second Spanish
journalist who was freed at the same
as Espinosa, gave his account in the
Periodico de Catalunya newspaper in
Spain Sunday. He said he had explained
to his captors that he wasn t a spy and
had entered Syria twice before to report
and had been treated well.
" You entered Syria twice and it
worked out well for you, but now we ll
kill you, " was the reply from his captor.
waves a Brazilian
flag during a protest
the impeachment of
Dilma Rousseff, over
an alleged scheme of
from the state-
owned oil company
Petrobras, in Sao
Sunday. AP PHOTO
Ex-IS hostage describes
A journalist is pushed down on the ground by a protester against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
after commemorations of the 1848 uprising against the Hapsburg rule in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday.
Some 40 protesters were confronted by some of the several thousand supporters listening to Orban's
speech outside the National Museum. AP PHOTO
SANTIAGO, Chile---Firefighters in
Chile gained the upper hand Sunday
on a coastal blaze that had gotten
close to the neighbouring cities of
Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, but
officials said strong winds could still
pose a threat.
The fire had been "pretty well con-
tained" and flames close to houses
had been put out, said Aaron
Cavieres, director of the National
The containment was "allowing
people to return to their homes," said
Cavieres. Several thousand people
were evacuated over the weekend,
and by Sunday most had returned.
Still, the National Emergency Office
was maintaining a red alert in case
there were changes in the winds. Val-
paraiso, with its large port, and Vina,
with popular beaches, often experi-
ence sudden bursts of strong winds
coming off the Pacific Ocean.
About 200 firefighters on the
ground and water-dumping helicop-
ters and planes were battling the
wildfire, which started Friday after-
noon at an illegal dump and quickly
Chile firefighters contain coastal wildfire
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