Wednesday, March 29

Marc Marginedas at the trial of one of his kidnappers: “They hated our countries”

The Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, witness in the murder trial against one of the terrorists who kidnapped him in Syria, explained to the court that he had to hide that he is homosexual during his captivity to avoid the wrath of his captors. She was accompanied in the round of testimony by the mother of the murdered aid worker Kayla Mueller. His testimony could be heard on the fifth day of the trial in federal court against El Shafee Elsheikh, a 33-year-old former British citizen and suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) cell whom the hostages baptized the Beatles due to his British accent. Elsheikh is accused of being involved in the murders of aid worker Kayla Mueller and three other Americans: the journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and he too humanitarian worker Peter Kassig.

“They decided that I was an important prisoner,” declared in English the veteran Spanish journalist from The newspaperwho at first had two days without drinking in the basement of a hospital, in whose corridor “people were massively tortured”, with beatings and electric shocks. “For me it was torture”, “I didn’t know if it was day or night.” Later they moved him to an abandoned house where there were more hostages.

“They only fed us twice a day, sometimes they forgot about us,” he added. The first guards were French, less brutal, but the British (Beatles) they were “very, very, very cruel”. “They knew where to hit to inflict pain,” she pointed out.


The hostages were moved a couple more times. When he was released, Marginedas had a broken rib, vitamin E deficiency and was 20 kilograms lighter.

Marsha Mueller, mother of the murdered aid worker, stated a day after his daughter’s boyfriend, Rodwan Safarjalani. From time to time, wiping away tears, Mueller recalled that her daughter worked in an orphanage in India and teaching Tibetan refugees before going to Syria. “She always wanted to help people,” she said – her daughter was captured by IS in 2013 while she was accompanying Safarjalani, a Syrian, on a trip to a hospital in the city of Aleppo.

Marsha Mueller detailed to the court the exchange of emails with the captors who demanded a ransom from five million eurosSo is the release of Aafia Sidiqui, a Pakistani woman jailed in the United States for attempted murder of American soldiers.

“We don’t want to hurt you,” the kidnappers said in one of the emails. “She is like a guest.” But, they warned, that if the Muellers did not meet their demands, her daughter would serve “life imprisonment like Sidiqui.”

“An Astronomical Rescue”

The Mueller they alleged that it was “an astronomical amount for a family with limited resources” and that Kayla’s father, Carl Mueller, had retired from the auto repair business. The answer was curt: “Retiring won’t help you get her daughter back, so get to work and earn money.”

“Kayla is not your enemy,” Marsha Mueller said in the video message to add, “Show mercy.”

Although it has not come to light in the trial, it came to light years ago that Kayla Mueller was handed over to Al Baghdadiwho allegedly raped her many times before killing her.

In 2014, the hijackers also called for an end to US military activities against IS.

The Muellers received no response to numerous subsequent emails, and IS claimed in 2015 that Kayla had been killed in an airstrike by Jordanian planes.

During a break in the trial, the Kayla’s boyfriend he approached Elsheikh and shouted in Arabic that he was going to hell.

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When the session resumed, Judge TS Ellis warned him that if it were repeated he would be expelled, but allowed him to stay because, he said, he had made a “prediction”, not a “threat”.

The Beatles they kidnapped at least 27 people in Syria between 2012 and 2015, including several European journalists, as well as the Spanish one Xavier Espinosawho were released after payment of ransoms.

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