ISIS captors ‘didn't have a Quran,’ says ex-hostage
French journalist Didier François, who spent 10 months being held captive, revealed the militants cared little about religion
French journalist Didier François, who had spent 10 months being held captive by ISIS, has revealed the militants cared so little about religion they did not even have a Quran.
Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Francois said he did not witness any “religious discussion” between the militants.
"There was never really discussion about texts or -- it was not a religious discussion. It was a political discussion. It was more hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Quran. Because it has nothing to do with the Quran. They didn't even have the Quran; they didn't want even to give us a Quran."
When asked for his reaction to witnessing the aftermath of his captors' torture of local Syrians and Iraqis, Francois said:
"We could see some of them in the corridors when we were taken to the toilets, and we could see some people lying in their blood. You could see the chains hanging, or the ropes hanging, or the iron bars."
The journalist revealed he was “beaten up” during his captivity.
"Of course we were beaten up. But it was not every day.
“It's hard enough to lose your freedom. It's hard enough to be in the hands of people who you know are killing hundreds and thousands of local Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Tunisians, can put bombs in our countries,” he added.
François was among the four French journalists freed in April 2014, along with Edouard Elias, Didier, Nicolas Hénin and Pierre Torres, who had been held hostage in Syria since June 2013 by ISIS.
French authorities released no details of their liberation, but Turkey’s Dogan News Agency first reported that an unknown group transported the journalists blindfolded and with hands bound on Friday night to the southeastern border of Turkey, where they were discovered by Turkish soldiers.
In the CNN interview, Francois also revealed that he had met an American woman held by ISIS twice.
“[Women] had a bit more freedom of movement … [Being an ISIS hostage] is frightening enough…being a woman doesn't make it easier," he said, reluctant to get into details about the American woman that would jeopardize her safety.