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Shajul Islam In Court Accused Of Keeping Sunday Times Photographer John Cantlie Hostage In Syria

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A man is to appear in court today charged with the kidnapping of a British photographer who was held hostage in Syria.

Shajul Islam, 26, is accused of keeping John Cantlie, who worked for various newspapers including the Sunday Times, and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans captive for around a week in the war torn state.

He was arrested last week after arriving at Heathrow airport on a flight from Egypt, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

A 26-year-old woman who was held with him was released without charge yesterday.

The pair were arrested on October 9 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Anti-terror legislation gives police up to a week to question suspects without charge.

Mr Cantlie said after he was freed that one of his captors had claimed to be an NHS doctor.

He told the Daily Mail that the "doctor" had a south London accent and used saline drips with NHS logos on them.

Mr Cantlie told the newspaper: "I asked for his help as we were both from London but he refused to even send a text to my girlfriend to say we were alive. He said he would be beheaded if he did."

The charge alleges that Islam, with others, unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans against their will, between July 17 and 26.

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