BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:50 A.M.) – Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda was freed recently by the jihadist rebel group that held him captive for 40 months in northern Syria.
In an interview with Japan’s NHK TV, Yasuda said he was kept inside a small cell and repeatedly tortured during his captivity, adding that they would not allow him to shower for more than eight months at one point.
“Day after day, I thought ‘Oh I can’t go home again’, and the thought took over my head and gradually made it difficult for me to control myself,” he told NHK TV.
The Japanese journalist said he was captured by the jihadist rebel group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” (presently Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham) after he entered northern Syria from Turkey more than three years ago.
Yasuda said Al-Nusra militants eventually handed him over to the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) in northwestern Idlib before he was moved to several different locations.
Qatar informed Tokyo earlier this week that a Japanese national had been released by a jihadist group, adding that he was on the way to an airport in the Turkish city of Antakya.
Both Qatar and Japan denied paying any ransom to the jihadist group.