A British journalist who was captured, chained up and tortured in an ordeal lasting more than six weeks has produced a film after hiding a memory card in his anus.
Phil Cox crossed the border into Sudan along with Channel 4 colleague Daoud Hari back in December on a trip to report on the plight of people in the Darfur region.
As they got closer to the Jebel Marra mountains, they were kidnapped by a militia and held hostage by guards armed with AK47s.
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For a week, they were chained to a tree in the desert and beaten, writes the Independent.
During their capture, Phil and Daoud found out the Sudanese authorities had tracked their movements and put a ‘capture or kill’ bounty on their heads for ‘more than £250,000’.
Writing in The Guardian on Wednesday, Mr Cox said:
It is hard to describe being chained up beneath the desert sun. Your face and hands slowly burn. Your tongue starts to swell and the blood inside your head pounds like a hammer.
But their ordeal did not end there, they were transferred to the Sudanese Government authorities, who detained them in Kobar Prison, Khartoum.
According to the Independent, this was just the ‘start of weeks of mistreatment’.
Over 40 days, Mr Cox was ‘beaten, given electric shocks with a cattle prod and once subjected to a mock execution’.
Despite being held captive, Mr Cox managed to trick his captors into recording themselves using his camera.
He told the Guardian:
One day, I saw our captors fiddling with my camera.
I offered to teach them how to insert a memory card and take photographs, but each time I handed the camera to them I covertly pressed the video button.
Unwittingly, my kidnappers began shooting video of us all.
In order to protect the footage, Mr Cox said he got the memory card, wrapped it up in a small strip of black plastic and inserted it into his anus.
Finally, Mr Hari, a Sudanese national granted asylum in the US, was released on 18th January this year, followed by Mr Cox on 1st February.
The film, Hunted in Sudan was broadcast as a two-part documentary.
Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear said:
We sent Daoud and Phil to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Sudan, but we never thought that they themselves would fall victim to these horrific abuses.
They were beaten, tortured and electrocuted, simply for being journalists. Their story from within the belly of the Sudanese security state is one of the most frightening we have ever broadcast on Channel 4 News.
Mr Cox said:
Daoud and I experienced first-hand the lengths that the Sudanese government will go to stop any independent reporting on what is happening in Darfur.
Our time in prison gave us a terrifying insight into the brutal tactics of the Sudanese security forces, and it also revealed the arbitrary and heavy-handed way any perceived opposition or anti-government criticism is dealt with.
Sounds absolutely terrifying.