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Hostage Survival.

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Presentation on theme: "Hostage Survival."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hostage Survival

2 Learning Objective Gain an understanding of the principles and guidance in relation to surviving as a hostage Session will be delivered in relation to the five stages of kidnapping or hostage taking

3 UN Policy Basis No ransom is to be paid
No substantial concessions will be made No release of prisoners for hostages can be negotiated Host Government primary responsibility for safety and security of UN personnel Designated Official overall director of hostage incident, UN response and operations – will not be involved in negotiations

4 UN Response – Hostage Incident Management (HIM)
Initiate HIM procedure (convene CMG/COG/FST) Media management Family assistance Liaison with Member States

5 Objectives of HIM Safe release Maintain security of other UN personnel
Hostages Hostage takers Minimize harm Maintain security of other UN personnel

6 1. CAPTURE (Most critical stage)
First minutes most dangerous Captors “state of mind”: Highly emotional Fight reaction Flight reaction Follow instructions Your objective – SURVIVE!

7 Control your Fear Fear of death/injury is normal reaction
Take a deep breath Try to relax Fear of death/injury is normal reaction Recognize your reactions Adapt to the situation – survive The first few hours - greatest anxiety

8 Hero vs. Low Profile Don’t be a “hero” Don’t “act tough”
Accept your situation - cooperate with captors Unforeseen reaction on your part could result in violent reaction by captor

9 Keep a Low Profile Keep a low profile Avoid appearing to study captors
Make mental notes about: Mannerisms Clothes Rank structure Names and faces This will be useful after release

10 2. Transportation Normally after quick and brutal capture
You may be drugged, bound, gagged, blindfolded and/or beaten You may be forced into the back of vehicles or boots Use this time – keep active – listen to voices and language – are they angry or calm? Listen/feel for outside noises, direction of travel, stops and other familiar smells or sounds

11 3. Holding You will experience isolation – expect it
No clock - day or night Try to maintain a routine Focus on pleasant scenes, memories, prayers Keep mentally active - try to remember films, book plot

12 Dealing with Isolation
Try to maintain sense of humor Ask for things you need: Medicines Books Paper They can say no - but you may get it Think positive!

13 Your Behaviour Be cooperative Obey demands - no antagonism
Body language and speech Don’t say or do anything to arouse violence Don’t argue Act neutral Don’t speak unless spoken to

14 Your Behaviour Speak only when necessary Be a good listener Be patient
Don’t make suggestions - they could go wrong Remind captors you are: UN staff – here to help all The UN is neutral Not involved in politics

15 Your Behaviour Never make threats
Encourage captors to tell people on the outside your whereabouts and condition Gain respect as well as sympathy Never beg, cry or plead Captor should view you as a human worthy of compassion & mercy

16 Establishing a Rapport with Captors
Find areas of mutual interest Emphasize personal rather than political Good topics - family/children If you speak captors language - use it - it will enhance rapport Be positive - Stockholm syndrome

17 Signing Notes or Confessions
You may be asked to: Sign note verifying your alive Confession saying your org involved in nefarious activities Sign/don’t sign ? individual decision – situation dependent Request changes Bolster morale Increase captors respect

18 Asked to be Negotiator Volunteer if possible
Make sure messages conveyed accurately Be prepared to speak on radio or telephone

19 Escape Only try if you are 100% certain you will succeed
If caught - your captors might use violence to teach you or others a lesson

20 Health Exercise daily Develop fitness programme and stick to it
Stay well groomed and clean Expect appetite & weight loss Try to drink & eat Maintain your strength

21 4. Termination – Rescue by Force
Do not stand up - drop quickly to the floor Get under cover Keep your hands over head When appropriate - identify yourself Talk first -- then move slowly

22 5. Aftermath – Post Release
Often feel bitter about treatment received after release Need to tell your story in detail Critical incident stress debriefing Emotional problems - months later Readjustment takes time Precondition for healing process - hostage realizes he/she is normal person, having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation


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