Freed UN Relief Worker Says Injections Were Worst Moments With AM-Lebanon-Hostage, Bjt
Mar. 04, 1988
VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ A Swedish relief worker held captive in Lebanon for 25 days said Thursday the worst moment for him and a Norwegian colleague was when they were given injections they feared would be fatal.
The Swede, 44-year-old Jan Stening, and William Jorgensen, 58, of Norway, were working for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency when they were kidnapped Feb. 5. The agency cares for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Stening and Jorgensen were freed Tuesday and reunited with their families at a Vienna hotel the next day, after arriving from Beirut.
At a news conference Thursday, Stening said: ''When we got those shots was a very tense situation.''
He said it happened a few hours before their release, and ''We both said goodbye ... because we said that was our very last moment.''
The purpose of the injections was to make them unconscious so they could be moved to another location, he said, but the captives thought the shots were meant to kill them.
Asked whether they were forced to take the injections, he said: ''We never discussed what we were forced to do. We just accepted everything.''
With Stening was his wife Lis, a Stockholm lawyer, and his 12-year-old son Daniel. He did not attend a news conference with Jorgensen on Wednesday night, explaining that he wanted more time with his family.
Jorgensen told reporters one of the kidnappers told them, ''We thought you came from a secret service'' but an investigation showed that to be a mistake.
Stening said four gunmen kidnapped them near Sidon, south Lebanon's provincial capital, as they were driving in a marked U.N. car from their base in Tyre to Beirut.
Both said they had no idea who abducted them. Stening said the captors spoke Arabic except for the last few days in an apartment that appeared to be in Beirut, when one spoke English.