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person held by another as a guarantee that certain actions or promises will or will not be carried out. During periods of internal turmoil, insurgents often seize hostages; recent examples include seizures of Americans and other foreigners by militants in Iran (1979–81) and Lebanon (1980s). Military forces often take hostages among civilians in an occupied country, in order to ensure the delivery of requisitions, to discourage hostile acts, or to take reprisals for hostile acts committed by unknown persons. In World War II, thousands of hostages were executed throughout Europe by the German authorities in an attempt to crush resistance movements. The Geneva Convention of 1949 forbade entirely the taking of civilian hostages. Criminals, especially when confronted by police, sometimes take hostages as "human shields" or as bargaining assets. In 1998 it was revealed that Israel was holding Lebanese hostages solely for use in prisoner exchanges or other deals with Lebanese guerrillas; their detainment was condoned by Israel's supreme court.

Ancient military custom regulated the behavior and treatment of hostages; originally a hostage was a person who had been delivered by one authority to another as a token of good faith, and was generally treated as an honored guest. However, he might be imprisoned or even executed if the agreement guaranteed by his person was broken. The code of honor was often very strictly observed in feudal times; thus, during the Hundred Years War, when the hostages sent to England in exchange for the release of John IIJohn II
(John the Good), 1319–64, king of France (1350–64), son and successor of King Philip VI. An inept ruler, he began his reign by executing the constable of France (whose office he gave to his favorite, Charles de La Cerda) and by appointing dishonest and
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 of France escaped, King John felt bound to return to captivity in England. Until the 18th cent., hostages were often exchanged when treaties were concluded.


Dreaming about being a hostage suggests that you may experience feelings of victimization or entrapment. This can be indicative of a situation in daily life, such as an oppressive and unsatisfactory relationship or financial difficulties. The dream suggests that you may experience feelings of powerlessness and cannot see you way out of a difficult situation. Because a hostage is taken against his will, you may be feeling as though you have been trapped by another or by circumstances. Also, the hostage situation in your dream may represent a part of your personality that is not being expressed. It could be your creativity, intellect, or inner freedom. The purpose of this dream may be to make you more aware of the limiting conditions in your life. Additionally, the dream may trigger your imagination and problem-solving abilities enabling you to see new possibilities.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tuesday the bloody hostage-taking in Sayidat Al-Nejat Catholic Cathedral in
But a Western diplomat monitoring the hostage-taking noted, ``That was a long Mass all right.
However, the VRT news network reported that it is still unclear whether there is really a hostage-taking or if there is another explanation for the presence of four armed men in the flats.
Leftist rebels holding more than 100 dignitaries captive released Uruguay's ambassador Tuesday after his country provided the first concession of the hostage-taking, freeing two rebels jailed in Uruguay.
France has been criticised by former US officials for paying millions of dollars in ransom in previous hostage-taking cases, but it appears that Fabius is ruling out any such action in this case.
In Washington, the State Department condemned the hostage-taking.
ALGIERS, Jan 27 (KUNA) -- Algeria, following the hostage-taking crisis in Ain Amenas gas field, should review all security plans of oil facilities in the desert with the objective of protecting local and western employees, and facilities, a senior government official said Sunday.
And a decade after Americans fled the bombs and bullets of Lebanon's merciless civil war and hostage-taking militias, America is coming back.
Four hostages also died in the Paris hostage-taking and are believed to have been killed by the gunman, three of them at the outset of his attack.
An afghan warlord faces a life behind bars in a British jail after being convicted at the Old Bailey yesterday of a 'heinous' campaign of torture and hostage-taking in his homeland.
Charges were based on participating in a deadly hostage-taking in Yemen, conspiring to establish a terrorism training camp in the US, and sending one of his followers to train and fight with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the statement added.
Alexander Torshin was summing up the results of the probe so far in the upper house of parliament, while victims' families expressed outrage at a prosecutors' report that exonerated authorities in the deaths of 331 people - more than half of them children - in the terrifying hostage-taking.