This week we were captivated by David Rohde’s tale of kidnapping and escape, but there are many more journalists around the world who have been kidnapped or arrested who remain detained today.
Until recently, Newsweek‘s Maziar Bahari was among them. Kidnapped in Iran without explanation in June, Bahari was released by the Iranian authorities just last week.
Newsweek got a little peek into what Bahari’s days in captivity were like in an exclusive Web article this week:
“For day after day, month after month, following his imprisonment in Iran on June 21, documentary filmmaker and Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari did not see the face of his interrogator. Bahari, 42, was blindfolded or faced a wall as the accusations and questions — often it was hard to tell the difference — kept coming at him. And always the interrogator told him the same thing: ‘No one on the outside cares about you. Everyone has forgotten you.’ Nothing could have been further from the truth.”
Hundreds called for Bahari’s release throughout his 118 days in prison, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as well as Bahari’s wife Paola Gourley, who was pregnant with the couple’s first child.
In the end, it’s not certain what eventually led Iranian authorities to release the naturalized Canadian citizen and allow him to fly to London to be with Gourley as she prepared to give birth. But that hardly seems to matter now, as Bahari celebrates his freedom and tries to return to normalcy, if that’s even possible after such an ordeal:
“Although he is some 25 pounds lighter than when he went into prison four months ago, he otherwise appears in good health. He says he suffered relatively little physical abuse, but a great deal of psychological stress, and he knows there will be aftershocks. He will be seeing physicians and counselors for some time to come.”
We wish the best of luck to Bahari and his growing family. If he is ever ready to tell all of his story, we are sure we will read it with the same mix of interest and horror with which we read Rohde’s.
‘Everyone Has Forgotten You’ —Newsweek