Terry Waite Re-tells Hostage Story 25 Years On

29th September 2016

View video here.

Terry Waite CBE, who was held hostage in Beirut from 1987-1991 by an extremist militia group, has retold his harrowing and inspirational story to a packed audience at Sheffield Hallam University. Almost 25 years after his release, the 77-year-old humanitarian told an audience of more than 250 about his capture, torture and solitary confinement during his 1,763 days in captivity, following the attempted negotiation for the release of a group of hostages. Since his release, Mr Waite has devoted his life to study, writing, lecturing and humanitarian activities. He is now the patron for several charities and was awarded the CBE in 1992. The event was part of the Justice Talks series at Sheffield Hallam University's Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice (HKC). Mr Waite retold his story in conversation with Sital Dhillon, director of the HKC. Mr Waite said: "I was very glad to be in Sheffield and quite amazed that so many people still remember my story. Whilst I don't spend all my time speaking about the hostage situation, there are still many lessons to be learnt from it - and I am thankful that I have been able to make something creative and useful from my experiences. "I had some very interesting conversations with a number of staff at the University on the question of rehabilitation from drug and alcohol abuse, which is a major global problem. "I was also interested to hear how the University is teaching law in a very practical way, so that it is not just seen as a cold academic subject, but something that is absolutely essential for good relationships between people and good harmony in communities. "It's very important that we have a good understanding of law - and with it a good understanding of justice, which enables us then to make law a humane practice - and the University is doing its very best to do exactly that." Mr Dhillon said: "We were delighted to host Terry for the latest of our Justice Talks - and his moving story did not disappoint. "Terry was only too happy to answer questions about his hostage situation, whilst applying a pragmatic take on his experiences in order to inform the future behaviours of others. His knowledge and considered responses certainly gave the entire audience something to think about and it was a pleasure to be a part of that conversation."

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