Ridley: 'People are exploiting my story'

Yvonne Ridley, the Sunday Express journalist held by the Taliban, claims people are trying to cash in on her story.

She told the Society of Editors’ conference in Belfast there were "all sorts of people" trying to exploit her capture with negative reports.

She said an Observer story claiming the family of one the men said to have helped smuggle her into Afghanistan was being victimised was pulled by the paper after just one edition.

Ridley said naming such a village could have led to all men living there being rounded up for questioning.

She said she was unable to discuss sources connected to her attempt to get into Afghanistan. But she has made an appeal on the World Service for two men arrested with her to be released.

Ridley said she was staggered by the media attention she had received and commented that journalists in the regions and in Northern Ireland were facing risks every day by investigating criminals and drug dealers. "These are the real unsung heroes," she said.

By Jean Morgan

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