This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, April 30, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Our next guest survived a terrifying ordeal most of us cannot even imagine. He risked his life to help children in war-torn Iraq only to find himself brutally beaten and tortured by Iraqi guerillas. Canadian aid worker Fadi Fadel was held hostage for 10 days in Iraq and joins us tonight from Montreal.
FADI FADEL, KIDNAPPED BY IRAQI INSURGENTS: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Fadi, when did you first go over to Iraq?
FADEL: I was there in mid February. I was with the international -- I went with the International Rescue Committee, a New York-based NGO to work on reconstruction efforts, renovating schools, vaccination campaigns and some psychosocial programming to remedy the effects of war.
VAN SUSTEREN: And at what point were you taken captive?
FADEL: I believe it was on the sixth of April. I just finished work. I went back to the residence and I was about to get into bed, when a gang of armed men stormed into the house, ransacked the house, they came upstairs to my bedroom. They asked me who I was. They asked for my passport and then they put me in the company car. They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did they think you were someone else? Or who did they think you were?
FADEL: They knew I was a Canadian the minute they got me.
VAN SUSTEREN: So there was never any question of your identity?
FADEL: No, no, no.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, where were you taken, if you know?
FADEL: I have no idea. I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back, as I said. We drove for about 10, 15 minutes, very fast. I got into some kind of a house, I believe. I was put into a corner. I was blindfolded. My hands were tied at all times for the first 48 hours, they took turns on -- they beat me with the garden hose, they burned me with cigarettes and they accused me of being an Israeli spy, something I denied consistently. I said I'm a Canadian aide worker, I'm here to work with the children. I have a clearance from the clergy and, you know, the community leaders and they know who I am, they know what I am here for. And I have the blessing. So I was quite surprised of the treatment I got.
VAN SUSTEREN: How long were you actually captive?
FADEL: I was actually captive for about 11 days, in total, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: And in terms of the 11 days, was the treatment like that first night you just described, was that consistent for the 11 days?
FADEL: The first 48 hours were quite harsh. They were not -- they were physical with me but they did -- made it clear to each other, as I said -- I understood Arabic, they did make it clear that they don't want any -- you know, to draw blood or to break my bones. They just wanted to terrorize me and make -- and, you know, force me to admit that I'm an Israeli spy.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the group, do you know who took you captive, I mean, what group it was or anything about them?
FADEL: Up until now I have no idea.
VAN SUSTEREN: None whatsoever? You don't know if they were people who were Sunnis, Shiites, people who were part of Saddam's inner circle, nothing at all, you have no idea?
FADEL: No idea. I know that I was released through the Army of Mehdi, which is the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, after he issued a fatwa. But all this, I'm not really clear of the people who kidnapped me or released me. These are all -- I think you should address the Canadian government and the other people who had a hand in releasing me.
VAN SUSTEREN: In the 11 days did you think, did there ever come a time when you thought you would even get out or did you think that this was the end for you?
FADEL: Well, there was a couple of times that I thought it was the end for me. When they wanted me to admit I was an Israeli spy and I kept on refusing. They had a couple of guys with machine guns behind the camera. And I thought that was it. There was another time when they tried moved me to a different location. They were trying to terrorize me and get me to admit that I'm an Israeli spy. It was quite harsh. But after the first -- you know, there was the first two days that were quite harsh. And then on the sixth day, there was some interrogation. It was quite terrorizing. I was very afraid. But then after that, the treatment -- my treatment improved dramatically, something that I was surprised to encounter. But also, I -- you know, everything that is news, radio, and stuff just disappeared from sort of the sounds that I used to hear.
VAN SUSTEREN: And, of course, you're very lucky, you were ultimately released. Fadi, thank you very much for joining us this evening.
FADEL: You're welcome. Thank you very much for having me.
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