Briton joins Iranian Press TV as presenter

March 2nd, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 2 (IANS) Britain born journalist Yvonne Ridley, who was taken into custody by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2000, is now working as a TV presenter for Iranian Press TV after converting to Islam to honour her promise to captors. Ridley told reporters here Sunday she has been based in West Asia since 2000 and has also worked with Al Jazeera as a TV presenter.

She is here - her first visit to India - on the invitation of the student’s wing of Jamath-e-Islami, a Muslim social organization.

While working as a journalist for Sunday Express covering Afghanistan, she was taken into custody by the Taliban in 2000.

Yvonne said she was in their custody for 10 days and initially felt that she would not see the next day.

“I spat at them, went on a hunger strike and did not cooperate with them. But they treated me as a guest. On the sixth day, a cleric came to me and said I could embrace Islam. But, very soon I was released on humanitarian grounds,” Yvonne said.

After her release, she read the Quran and studied Islam for two years and then decided to convert to Islam.

“It was for two reasons that I decided to convert to Islam. One was to honour my promise, which I had made in captivity. The other was because I was a journalist covering West Asia and I felt I was in a region where Islam was the biggest religion and did not know much about it,” said Yvonne.

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