Despite the desperate situation he found himself in, journalist James Foley “never cracked” and was “a pillar” for the rest of the hostages, according to a fellow captive, who was held with the American. The war reporter was beheaded by an ISIS terrorist in a video that has shaken the world to its core.
As if the manner in which the terrorists ended his life was not brutal enough, Foley reportedly endured the worst treatment, while being held captive, French reporter Didier Francois– who had also been held by ISIS — told radio station Europe1 on Thursday. But the American was strong and brave until the moment he was killed.
Francois says that the ruthless captors beat and tortured Foley psychologically, with mock crucifixions because of his Catholic faith.
“This group, which has a taste for the macabre, made him stand against a wall in a pose as if he had been crucified,” the former hostage said of Foley.
The 40-year-old photojournalist went missing in northern Syria in November 2012 and no information about his whereabouts was made public, until the horrific video of his beheading was posted to Youtube on Tuesday. Francois added that James Foley suffered even more punishment when the ISIS terrorists discovered his brother was in the United States Air Force and had served in Afghanistan.
Foley “never cracked, even under the most difficult conditions,” François said. Foley was “one of the pillars of the group,” he added.
Another former French hostage, Nicolas Henin — who was held for 10-months prior to his release this past April — told ABC News James Foley briefly escaped at one point in his captivity, but didn’t get far and was found wandering in the desert in Syria. This made his captors extremely angry and they retaliated against the journalist:
“James was a bit punished for a presumed attempt to escape, but it had no real chance,” Henin said.
For Henin, watching the video of is friend’s beheading hit too close to home and was very upsetting. He had fond memories of James Foley and spoke of his time with the American to the BBC:
“James was a lovely person. James was probably, among the whole group of hostages, the person I appreciated the most, because he was so truly generous, so human, and basically anything he could share, he would share it. If we were cold and missing blankets he would share it, if we were starving and missing food he would share his ration.”
Henin talked about the unspeakable conditions in which he, James Foley, and the rest of the hostages were kept by the ISIS terrorist. The Frenchman described how the rooms were very narrow and the captors did not allow them to use the bathroom frequently, so they used buckets. He and Foley were once handcuffed together for a whole week.
According to Henin’s account, James Foley dealt with his captivity better than most of the hostages, despite being treated worse than anyone else because of his nationality and religion.
For the French journalist it is particularly hard as he became very close with his American colleague, but he will try to remember the few good times they shared while in captivity and the “few opportunities we had to laugh loud together.”
“I’m just horrified, because it’s not only a colleague who has been killed, it’s also a friend and my best cell mate,” Henin said of James Foley’s beheading at the hands of the British terrorist they are Jihadi John.
Didier Francois also praised James Foley for always looking out for his fellow hostages, despite the brutal treatment he received at the hands of the terrorists. Francois recently described Foley as a calm, strong prisoner who stood out for advocating on behalf of his fellow hostages for more food and better treatment, according to Business Insider.
[Image via Today Leak]