A French journalist who was held hostage by Islamic State militants in Syria spoke to the press about life as a prisoner under the terrorist group.
Nicholas Henin, who gained his freedom in April, said that he spent time with every one of the Western hostages that have been killed on video at the hands of the Islamic State.
Henin told ITV News that he spent most of his time in a cell with each of the other hostages, including James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines and Alan Henning, all of whom were since murdered by their captors.
“There is no privacy when you are stuck together in a room for 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Henin said. “We were having meals together, sleeping next to each other. We were having discussions about everything: life, hopes, expectations.”
Henin also spoke of the most recent victim of the Islamic State, Alan Henning, who had travelled to Syria to provide aid to those affected by the country’s brutal civil war.
British aid worker Alan Henning
“Alan Henning was someone who was a total innocent,” he said. “He didn’t go to make any money. Alan was a kind of teddy bear. Always willing to help the others. Giving his life.”
“He decided one day to just give it, to dedicate to the others and these others were a bunch of Muslim friends who wanted, who started this action in Syria and he told us, ‘I was the only non-Muslim among these people but they were all my friends’.”
Henin also talked about fellow captive John Cantlie, who has been used by the Islamic State to host propaganda videos condemning Western governments.
“I am optimistic that the lectures the captors asked [Cantlie] to deliver will be a way for him to pay for his life,” Henin said. “I hope his captors understand what a good guy he is.”
British hostage John Cantlie in an Islamic State propaganda video