The Escape Artist


FREE: Irwandi, once jailed as a rebel, says he has forgiven his torturers but will never forget

In may 2003, while I was reporting on the civil war then raging in the Indonesian province of Aceh, rebels of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (G.A.M.) opened fire on a car carrying me and three colleagues, almost killing us. Afterwards, furious, I called and text messaged my G.A.M. contact, code-named "Iskander," to tell him to get his trigger-happy men to stand down. Iskander's role as a G.A.M. operative was secret—until I unwittingly blew his cover that day. When I called, he was being questioned by the police, who saw my incriminating messages arrive on his phone. Iskander was arrested and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!