THE brother of David Haines – the Scottish aid worker killed by Islamic State militants in September after being kidnapped in Syria – has said that his family backs the government stance on ransoms.
In his first major interview, to be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10:30am tomorrow in Brothers: The David Haines Story, Mike Haines speaks about the family’s ordeal.
Mr Haines’ family had to keep 44-year-old David’s kidnap secret for 18 months.
Mike Haines said: “It was vital that information didn’t get out because we didn’t know the situation that he was in.
“I had noticed in one or two newspapers, during the height of the press frenzy, that he had been reported as being secret service or military intelligence.
“He was there as humanitarian worker. No second agenda or first agenda.
“It was very difficult for everyone in the family. There is always that need to tell someone just to share in your fears, share in the ordeal that you are going through.”
David Haines’ name emerged in the public domain early in September, after he was shown in a video of journalist Steven Sotloff’s execution, released two weeks after a clip appeared online showing the beheading of another American journalist, James Foley.
A video showing David’s death was broadcast on social media ten days after the Sotloff video. Mr Haines said: “That day when David appeared in the background, that day when we realised that David had been identified, my stomach hit the floor.
“The look on David’s face when he was witnessing Steven’s murder, it wasn’t horror at what was approaching him, it was horror at was happening to Steven.
“The look – no matter where you go, no matter how much you try and not see that image – is with me all the time. And in the deep, dark nights, when I am not sleeping, I see that look.
“After David’s name had hit the internet, some of the stuff that was published worldwide was pretty despicable. The way that families had been almost raped by some of the less responsible press was disgusting.”
Mr Haines said both David and his family did not believe in paying ransoms, despite their ordeal.
He added: “David always said if it was a ransom for a fiver, tell them to shove it. It was a stance we agree with.”