• Spain's news in English

Ex-hostage reveals torture by Isis jihadists

AFP · 16 Mar 2015, 08:39

Published: 16 Mar 2015 08:39 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Writing in his El Mundo newspaper, the Spanish journalist who was kidnapped on September 16, 2013 and freed on March 29, 2014, also detailed for the first time the execution of Russian hostage Sergei Gorbunov, who went missing in October, 2013.

Espinosa said IS grouped as many as 23 hostages from 11 Western countries in a villa north of Aleppo, where his captors wanted to replicate the US prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, used to detain enemy jihadist combattants.

Quoting information he'd been told by American journalist James Foley, who was decapitated by IS in 2014, Espinosa wrote: "'They had this project for a long time. The (head guard) told us at the beginning they wanted to intern Westerners in a high-security prison with cameras and lots of guards'."

"'They told us that we would be here for a very long time, because we were the first ones they captured'," Foley confided to Espinosa.

He said the group of 22 European, American and Latin-American journalists and humanitarian workers held in the compound were submitted to repeated mock executions by a trio of particularly brutal guards that prisoners nicknamed "The Beatles."

Other times, hostages were forced to view images from the execution of Russian engineer Gorbunov, who was assassinated by what captors told the prisoners was an exploding bullet fired to his head.

"You may wind up like him," Espinosa recalls a guard taunting him. "Or maybe we will make you unearth him and dig another grave so you can sleep with him."

Espinosa says he waited nearly a year after being freed to reveal details of his detention because IS captors had warned they would execute remaining hostages if he spoke about his ordeal "before everything has been finished."

Story continues below…

Espinosa wrote that time has now come, with 15 of his group of 23 prisoners having been released, six executed, and American humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller killed in a US bombing of IS positions last month.

The fate of another fellow detainee, British photographer John Cantlie, is unknown after a recently released IS video showed him still alive.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Brazilian suspect in grisly Madrid murder turns self in
Marcos Campos Nogueira is the chief suspect in the murder of a married couple and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

A Brazilian teenager suspected of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain has turned himself in to police.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available