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Hostage Survival. Learning Objective  Gain an understanding of the principles and guidance in relation to surviving as a hostage Session will be delivered.

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Presentation on theme: "Hostage Survival. Learning Objective  Gain an understanding of the principles and guidance in relation to surviving as a hostage Session will be delivered."— 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 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 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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