Reporter Yvonne Ridley praises Taleban 'honour'
BBC News UK, 14 October 2001
British journalist Yvonne Ridley - who was released by the Taleban on Monday - has said her captors were "very honourable" people.
The Sunday Express reporter, who spent 10 days in captivity in Afghanistan, said she had been treated with respect.

"They were not hostile. They played a few mind games, but they were very respectful," she told the BBC's Breakfast With Frost programme on Sunday.

"I learned that the Taleban are very honourable people - they kept their word."

But she said she had been "very frightened" when a Taleban cleric asked her if she would like to convert to Islam, as she thought it might have been a loaded or trick question.

And she criticised the way women were treated in the south Asian country.

Ms Ridley, 43, who was seized near the north eastern city of Jalalabad, has said she had wanted to go to Afghanistan to see how ordinary people were coping.

She told the BBC: "The Afghanistan people are fantastic.

"They really are lovely and the women are also incredibly strong but unfortunately have no role to play in the society at present and that is very, very sad.

'Acceptable' conditions

"It is the religious side of the Taleban that has introduced crazy rules.

"Women are forbidden from buying new clothes, they cannot have nail varnish and are not allowed to sing."

Earlier, Ms Ridley explained that she was caught after her camera was spotted when her donkey tried to bolt, a short way from the border with Pakistan.

"A Taleban soldier shouted at me and pulled me off the donkey," she said.

"A huge crowd gathered very quickly. I was then bundled in a car."

She said the conditions she was held in had been acceptable, although she had been refused access to a telephone.

[In a television interview with BBC News 24, Yvonne Ridley said she was housed in an air-conditioned room]

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