Monday, March 07, 2005

BBC NEWS | Europe | Transcript: Giuliana Sgrena interview

BBC NEWS | Europe | Transcript: Giuliana Sgrena interview: "In an interview with the BBC's Newshour programme, freed Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena began by describing the conditions in which she had been held hostage for a month.

The condition of life was not bad from the material point of view but I was in a position of risk and so you can imagine it was not easy, it was very difficult and very hard to spend the days as prisoner in Iraq.

What did your captors tell you when you were hostage?

That I needed to help them to ask [Silvio] Berlusconi to withdraw the troops. They saw all what happens in Italy, demonstrations against the occupation, demonstrations for my liberation. And so they [became] aware that I was really working against the occupation and people were supporting me and so they told me: 'We have seen that you are very appreciated in Italy'. And that helped me to be freed.

You then became aware presumably that negotiations were going on about your possible release.

I can't say it was deliberate because we can't say if there was a lack of information

I could imagine that negotiations were going on but I can't tell you more because I was not aware of what was the object of the negotiations. And when I was freed it was the last of my problems which kind of negotiations were going on.

You do not know whether money was paid for your freedom?

No, I don't know. "

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