Rabia Siddique

Hostage survivor & international humanitarian lawyer

Rabia is an international humanitarian lawyer, retired British Army senior officer, former war crimes and terrorism prosecutor, and hostage survivor.

In 2005, Rabia lead hostage negotiations for the release of two British Special Forces who were illegally kidnapped and detained by Iraqi based terrorists. Rabia was held hostage for over eight hours. She survived but, while her male colleagues were recognised and decorated for their efforts and bravery, Rabia was gagged and ordered to never speak of her involvement.

This situation led to her being diagnosed with PTSD. After her recovery Rabia held both the British Army and Government to account for their systematic discrimination of women and ethnic minorities. Her landmark case made international news and saw the floodgates open for many similar cases. It heralded profound changes in defence policy, attitudes and the support offered to female soldiers serving on the frontline, ethnic minorities and military personnel suffering PTSD.

Rabia was eventually decorated by the Queen for her humanitarian work in the Middle East and wrote a memoir: “Equal Justice: My Journey as a Woman, a Soldier and a Muslim”. Rabia is now a multi award-winning inspirational speaker, leadership consultant, media commentator, human rights advocate, and mum to young triplet boys.

Rabia Siddique