• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The 39-year-old French archaeologist Francoise Claustre, freed by rebels in the African state of Chad, was expected to be home in Paris late on Tuesday (1 February) or Wednesday (2 February) at the end of an ordeal lasting nearly three years.

  • Description

    INTRODUCTION: The 39-year-old French archaeologist Francoise Claustre, freed by rebels in the African state of Chad, was expected to be home in Paris late on Tuesday (1 February) or Wednesday (2 February) at the end of an ordeal lasting nearly three years. Mme Claustre was seized in April 1974 while on a search for ancient tombs in the rebel-held territory of Tibesti in northern Chad, a former French colony. Her husband Pierre, who was held by the same group when he went to negotiate for her release more than a year ago, was released with her. They were handed over to Libya on Sunday (30 January) by Chad rebel leaders and on Monday were in Tripoli with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

    SYNOPSIS: Mme Claustre was in good physical health, but exhausted by the ordeal. She and her husband reportedly underwent an eight-day journey to reach Tripoli from their desert prison. The exact role played by Colonel Gaddafi was not immediately clear, but he is believed to have acted as an intermediary.

    French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing sent a special aircraft to Tripoli on Monday (31 January) to bring the Claustres home. Mme Claustre's mother and sister were on board, together with a member of the French President's general staff. President Giscard also thanked Colonel Gaddafi for his involvement. The long ordeal of Mme Claustre caused government embarrassment and public indignation in France.

    Public anger and official embarrassment reached a peak in 1975 when a French television crew screened pictures of a dejected and bedraggled Mme Claustre in captivity.

    France paid the rebels a one million pound sterling ransom (10 million Francs) but she remained a prisoner. Observers are openly speculating if her freedom is connected with the quick release by France earlier this month of Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAULU8VRHR34OR0XEF3KLSJ7YN
    Media URN:
    VLVAULU8VRHR34OR0XEF3KLSJ7YN
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/01/1977
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:13:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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