Whoever bows to the legislators of Oz should consider this ….
Former hostage Warren Rodwell slams 60 Minutes: ‘Kidnapping can never be excused’ …. By Liz Burke news.com.au
WHEN Warren Rodwell was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines and held captive for 472 days, it made him question everything he knew.
He was cuffed, shot through the hand, mistreated and starved. He was left isolated in a mountainous warzone for 10 weeks and imprisoned the rest of the time. He was delirious.
Once he was freed in 2013, the former soldier says he looked like a prisoner of war, and was grappling with his sanity.
The only thing he says he knew for sure at that time was that kidnapping had started this, and no good could come of the crime.
Still bearing the scars of his time held captive, Mr Rodwell had the same thought when he heard of the kidnapping of two children in Lebanon, taken from a Beirut street while they were out with their grandmother two weeks ago.
It would of course come out that those the snatch had been ordered by the children’s mother, with the help of a 60 Minutes crew who intended to broadcast the operation, and carried out by a notorious child recovery agency.
They claimed the children had been abducted by their father and taken to Lebanon against the mother’s wishes, and that by returning the kids to their mum and their Brisbane home they were carrying out a good and honest act.
All Mr Rodwell could think was: “That’s absurd.”
“I first saw it as 60 Minutes wanting to show kidnapping as a good thing,” he told news.com.au.
“Because I had been kidnapped myself, my first reaction was repulsion. The thought of trying to show kidnapping as a good thing, I thought that was atrocious and ludicrous.”
The Channel 9 crew led by network star Tara Brown, and the mother of the two children Sally Faulkner, by spending close to two weeks in a Beirut prison following their arrest. They were freed overnight after Nine agreed to pay an undisclosed amount in compensation to the children’s father Ali Elamine.
Members of Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) who carried out the “child recovery” operation, Adam Whittington and Craig Michael, have been left to the mercy of the Lebanese courts, with Nine taking no responsibility, saying “they are not part of our team”.
Though Mr Rodwell said he was “shocked” by what the agency had done, he believed there had been an “imbalance of equity” in how the situation had been dealt with, especially if it eventuated that Nine had made payments to the kidnappers.
“I’m shocked at what they do, and that they’re allowed to do it and carry on as a business. Whatever licencing they have has to be looked into,” he said.
“If someone engages an agent, that agent acts on their behalf. If something goes wrong, the person responsible is someone who engaged them.”
Mr Rodwell said that 60 Minutes had become “over-involved” in the story, and should take the fall. He said he was disgraced by the program’s apparent intention to promote kidnapping.
“In calling it child recovery, it makes it sound like it’s a rescue mission,” he said.
“The question to be asked is with these child recovery agencies, are they in effect something similar to bounty hunters?”
Mr Rodwell said his own experience had opened his eyes to how bad kidnapping can be, and says it should never be promoted.
“Kidnapping itself, as I got a glimpse of, is scratching the surface of people trafficking, and it’s not a thing anywhere that you could really condone. Kidnapping can never be excused,” he said.
Although he was damning of the entire Lebanon fiasco, Mr Rodwell said his experience had helped him sympathise with Ms Faulkner on one point.
“From what I understand, the mother admitted from the beginning she was naive by agreeing to the children going on vacation. I can appreciate her position because apparently she took it as far as she could in what she could achieve in Australia, but apparently the Foreign Minister couldn’t do anything more,” he said.
“I have had a similar experience myself, because before coming back to Australia after being kidnapped, I had the DFAT, the AFP, ADF and ASIO all assigned to my own case, and it was explained to me quite clearly that before coming back to Austraila, there was seemingly nothing they would be able to do for me, there was no follow through, once I was back in Australia I had to go back in the queue to access any services.
“She was desperate, but still, the argument has been put that as a mother you would do anything to get your children back, but if that results in someone being in prison for up to 20 years, what benefit is that to the children?”
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Warren R Rodwell – The longest held Australian captive outside wartime ….
State of Origin Australian Rugby League … WR : ” I DON’T DO GUILT !!! ” Warren R Rodwell www.warrenrodwell.com #NRL #Origin #SOO #auspol