LONDON, (Reuters) – A British peace campaigner held hostage in Iraq for four months said his captors had shown him a Christian DVD during his captivity.
Norman Kember was rescued by special forces last week from an unguarded house west of Baghdad along with two Canadian colleagues from Christian Peacemaker Teams.
A fourth hostage, American Tom Fox, was found shot dead two weeks earlier.
In an interview with Britain’s Baptist Times published on Wednesday, Kember said four months had been “stolen” from him.
“The experience of being confined is desperate. Not going outside for four months — it’s having that time stolen,” the 74-year-old retired professor of medical ethics said.
“I’d want to remind your readers how precious life is, and how precious the sight of a green tree would be when you’re deprived of it.”
Kember said the the hostage-takers had been unpredictable but had tried to keep the captives happy to stop them trying to escape.
“One night our captors took us downstairs, sat us in front of the TV, and showed us the life of Jesus on DVD in Arabic,” he said. “But these people are the people who shot Tom Fox in the head. People are very complex.”
After his release British Army Chief Michael Jackson accused Kember being ungrateful to the soldiers who freed him.
But in the interview Kember paid tribute to the British Special Air Service (SAS) troops who found him.
“I’m very grateful to them for rescuing me. And our diplomatic service was super. I’m full of praise for them,” he said.