Cellmate describes captivity, torture of Peter Theo Curtis

Matt Schrier, former cellmate of released hostage Peter Theo Curtis, describes the gruesome details of their captivity together in Syria

Uncredited, AP

In the wake of James Foley's violent death at the hands of ISIS captors in Iraq, news broke Sunday that another American hostage, freelance writer Peter Theo Curtis, was released by jihadists in Syria. Curtis had been held hostage for nearly two years, and the detailed story behind his release has yet to be told. What we do know is that his former cellmate, photojournalist Matt Schrier says he spent more than six months in captivity with Curtis until Schrier managed to escape from a small window secured with wire bars. Curtis was left behind.

Last fall, Scott Pelley and producer Graham Messick interviewed Schrier for the 60 Minutes story 210 Days in Captivity. During that interview, Schrier shared many details about the captivity and torture that both he and Curtis endured. Schrier also explained how he managed to escape while Curtis didn't. 60 Minutes omitted some of these details from the original broadcast story in the interest of Curtis' safety.

When the original interview aired in November, Curtis was still a hostage in Syria. To protect him from further harm and at the request of his family, the broadcast made a decision not to use his name or the details of his circumstances. Now that Curtis has been freed, 60 Minutes has decided to release Schrier's account of Peter Theo Curtis' captivity and torture in Syria.

The following interview excerpts were recorded in November 2013:

Curtis' ability to speak Arabic may have led ... 02:41
Curtis' former cellmate Matt Schrier says cap... 01:11
When the cellmates finally agreed on an escap... 03:14
After destroying their cell window, former ce... 05:35