We trust you.
Those are the three words that intrepid Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford believes saved her and her colleagues from a sinister fate after being captured by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The intrepid journalist, 61, recounted the harrowing experience of being held captive, certain that she and her two colleagues were about to become pawns in a macabre hostage video as they tried to report on Taliban weapons manufacturing in the Kabul heart.
Having arrived in Afghanistan before the Taliban took complete control following the fall of Kabul in 2021 as UK and US troops made a dramatic withdrawal, Alex suddenly found himself in a country without an embassy or consulate. of the UK with the nation teetering on the precipice of chaos.
In a matter of weeks, Afghanistan’s already fragile healthcare system collapsed, while women were stripped of their fundamental rights and relegated to the status of second-class citizens.
Alex, who received an OBE for his unwavering dedication to broadcast journalism, said Meter how she was detained by Taliban fighters, along with her translator and cameraman.
Fearless Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford has recounted her experience being taken hostage by the Taliban and how she escaped.
Taliban fighters stand guard outside the Kabul airport on August 31, 2021, after the US withdrew all its troops from the country to end a brutal 20-year war.
Taliban fighters stand guard near the venue of an open-air demonstration in a field on the outskirts of Kabul on October 3, 2021, as Taliban supporters and senior figures stage their first mass rally in a show of force as consolidate their government of Afghanistan
Remembering the chilling moments as the trio awaited their fate, Alex said: ‘We sat there. My Afghan translator prayed and prayed and prayed and he was sweating and, I don’t want to say crying, but he was very, very upset.
“My cameraman, who was a very tough Australian, was extremely quiet. And they left us there for what seemed like forever.
“All of us in that room thought, ‘Oh, God, we’re going to be at the center of a hostage tape,'” he said, describing the room they were left in as completely empty except for a Taliban flag and a camera tripod.
Six ski-mask clad Taliban militants burst into the room and stood facing the camera in a menacing line facing their captives.
Alex said he realized it was unlikely he would have another chance to influence his captors.
But instead of humiliating himself or apologizing, he went on the offensive and launched into an impassioned and confrontational tirade.
We trust you! We came here in good faith!’ she yelled.
‘Would you treat your own mother, sister or wife like this? How do you think we feel? This is shameful!
His terrified Afghan translator was horrified by the outburst, but duly conveyed the message despite fearing it would seal his immediate demise.
But against all odds, Alex’s bold act stunned the Taliban, whose menacing resolve seemed to waver for a moment.
Understanding that his captors were questioning themselves, Alex kept up the verbal attack until suddenly the Taliban simply said, “Okay, go away, that’s all,” and allowed them to go.
Alex’s unwavering commitment to journalism has earned him five prestigious Royal Television Society Awards, a pair of Emmys and a Bafta, not to mention an OBE, which he received in 2012.
She has witnessed unimaginable violence, unspeakable terror and the deepest human suffering, but perhaps this is what allowed her to keep her sanity and seize what would likely be her only chance to escape unscathed from the clutches of the Taliban.
Alex’s unwavering commitment to journalism has earned him five prestigious Royal Television Society awards, a pair of Emmys and a Bafta, not to mention an OBE.
Asked what drives her to return again and again to these cities ravaged by violence and terror, at great personal risk, she said: “In the end, it almost feels like you have to.”
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint on a Kabul street.
Alex spoke to Metro ahead of the launch of the latest installment of her ‘Women at War’ docuseries, a show that delves into the heart of regimes where women’s voices are silenced and their autonomy and rights taken away.
Her latest episode, ‘Women at War: Mexico,’ examines the systemic violence faced by women and girls in the Central American country, which in recent years has been plagued by cartel violence.
Throughout her extraordinary career, Alex has not only documented life-threatening situations, but has often made herself a target, enduring kidnapping, interrogation, and even being shot at with guns.
The undeterred journalist maintains that she never consciously sought out these dangerous assignments, instead finding herself thrust into countries devastated by riots and protests, where her presence was sorely needed.
Asked what drives her to return again and again to these cities ravaged by violence and terror, at great personal risk, she said: ‘In the end, it almost feels like you have to.
‘Sounds a bit moral… I feel like I’m not alone in that.’
- Sky News documentary Women at War: Mexico is available to watch via Sky On Demand