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Yvonne Ridley

From Academic Kids

Yvonne Ridley (born 1959?, Stanley, County Durham) is a British journalist and politician.

Ridley came to prominence in September 2001 when she was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan whilst working for the Daily Express, and held hostage for 11 days. However, there have been doubts expressed over the veracity of her story. She said she offered to read the Qur'an during her captivity, and later did, partly to find out why the Taliban treated women as they do. She found no justification in the Qur'an for it, and converted to Islam in the summer of 2003. Later that year she was sacked by her then employer, Al-Jazeera (where she worked on the English language version of their website), after forming a local branch of the National Union of Journalists. After her departure from Qatar, she published an article about her experiences there containing numerous elementary errors of fact. She also reported, after the capture of Saddam Hussein, that he had been captured by Kurds and handed over to the Americans rather than being found by them. That report has never been substantiated.

Ridley was on the top of the RESPECT coalition's party list at the 2004 European Elections for the North East England region but was not elected. She stood as the RESPECT candidate at the Leicester South by-election in 2004. She came in fourth, with 12.7% of the vote. However, when she stood again in the May 2005 general election, her share of the vote dropped to 6.4%.

Ridley is the author of In the Hands of the Taliban: Her Extraordinary Story (Robson Books, 2003), detailing the 11 days she was held captive by the Taliban; as well as Ticket to Paradise (Dandelion Books, LLC 2003), a novel with semi-autobiographical undertones.

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