Free Amanda Lindhout & Nigel Brennan

July 31, 2009

Two standards for kidnapping

To tell or not to tell.

Two camps of thoughts, but which is the right one for Amanda & Nigel? If we are to take our lead by what is ‘not’ being said or done in this case, the silent camp seems to be the standard to follow. However, with Nigel Brennan’s mother speaking publically for the first time last week, it leads one to believe not even they are privy to any inner negotiations that may, or may not be at work on their behalf. And if no negotiations are going on, if time is just ticking away and Amanda & Nigel are becoming more of a liability with each passing day, it begs the questions:

Are these two going to die in Somalia, are our governments really going to let this happen?

What then could be a solution, and a very quick one, to this terrible situtaion?

The below was published on Monday, June 22, 2009 by The National post.

Happy endings have a way of halting tricky questions in their tracks. No doubt everyone’s happy to hear that another reporter in Afghanistan managed to survive a hostage ordeal that could have ended badly and bloodily. This time, it was New York Times reporter David Rohde, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in November, only almost no-one outside media circles knew that till he escaped Friday. That’s because the media deliberately kept Rohde’s kidnapping a secret.

“From the early days of this ordeal, the prevailing view among David’s family, experts in kidnapping cases, officials of several government and others we consulted was that going public could increase the danger,” Bill Keller, the Times’ executive editor, explained. “We decided to respect that advice … and a number of other news organizations that learned of David’s plight have done the same. We are enormously grateful for their support.”

Since Rohde survived, everything done to secure his release – including the widespread efforts to hide the news of his abduction – seems irresistibly reasonable in retrospect. With a different, unhappier ending, would we be as cool with the media decision to consciously suppress the story? Videos sent by his kidnappers to various Arab TV networks, presumably making demands were, according to reports, “not given extended air play at the urging of the Times.” (One blogger noticed back in February that Rohde had been missing, and discovered the truth about his abduction, but other reporters told him there was nothing he or they could do about it, given the decision by all editors to censor the story). CBC reporter, Melissa Fung, benefited from the same media blackout last fall.

When news organizations aren’t directly impacted by hostage takings, they tend to play by different rules: The kidnapping of Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay in Niger last year earned plenty of news coverage, as has unaffiliated freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout’s plight in Somalia, and freelance journalist Beverly Giesbrecht in Pakistan (both of whom remain in custody). Interestingly, newspapers have felt liberated to reveal the tale of Rohde’s kidnapping, along with his fixer and driver, now that the American reporter is free, even though one member of the group still remains held in the Taliban compound.

There can be little question that reporters are getting special treatment. But if we agree on that, we might do ourselves the favour of being reflective enough to ask why. The Toronto Star’s public editor several months ago recalled how that paper – which participated in the cover-up of Melissa Fung’s kidnapping – had to ignore pleas from the family of Je Yell Kim not to report on his capture in North Korea because “the incarceration of a Canadian by a foreign government was an issue of important public interest in Canada. So, too, was the question of what Canadian authorities were doing to secure his release.”

In that case, things turned out fine. They don’t always. It’s impossible to tell how much the glare of media coverage has influenced a kidnapper to do something he otherwise mightn’t have, but it’s safe to say that an increased profile of a hostage situation must have a kind of Observer Effect on the actors.

The conspiracy by media to gag kidnapping stories of reporters abroad may have saved Rohde’s life, and Fung’s too. If so, great. Perhaps it had no effect on the outcome at all. This is something we’ll never know. But one thing we might be able to know, if we dared to ask it of ourselves, is why different rules were apparently applied to Rohde and Fung than to Giesbrecht, Lindhout, and others. If a New York Times or CBC reporter’s life was sufficiently worth guarding as to sacrifice the kind of high-minded, self-ascribed newsroom principles given by the Star to Je Yell Kim’s family, surely others’ lives are, too.

Source: National Post

July 26, 2009

Kidnappers losing patience with Ottawa, expert claims

Kidnappers losing patience with Ottawa, expert claims

Mark Iype, Canwest News Service Published: Friday, June 12, 2009

An expert from an international media aid organization says that the plight of kidnapped Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout is quickly becoming dire, and he is worried that the patience of the militia holding her is running out.

“They are really getting impatient,” Ambroise Pierre, the Africa expert with Reporters Without Border said yesterday from his office in Paris. “The kidnappers wanted to negotiate sooner than this.”

Pierre says his sources in Somalia say the militia holding her wants to get rid of her, but it also wants to get paid. He thinks that the kidnappers are surprised the situation has dragged.

He says kidnappings in the East African country are usually resolved within six weeks.

Lindhout, a freelance reporter from Sylvan Lake, Alta., was kidnapped last August with an Australian colleague, Nigel Brennan, while working on a story about internally displaced people.

A woman claiming to be Lindhout called CTV News late yesterday to make a tearful plea for her release.

“I’ve been held hostage by gunmen in Somalia for nearly 10 months,” the woman, claiming to be Lindhout, said.

“I’m being kept in a dark, windowless room in chains, without any clean drinking water and little or no food. I’ve been very sick for months, without any medicine.”

The woman begs Ottawa to help her family pay her ransom.

Pierre says he thinks it is highly likely that the woman who made the call is Lindhout. The call comes just weeks after a similar plea was made by Lindhout and Brennan in a short phone call with Agence France-Presse, in which they spoke of horrible conditions and their deteriorating health.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs says that officials “continue to pursue all the appropriate channels” to determine Lindhout’s welfare.

Source:

http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/story.html?id=1825247

June 21, 2009

Last Tapped Phone Call from Amanda Lindhout.

Filed under: Archives — freeamandafreenigel @ 07:38
Tags: , , , ,

amanda_lindhout

Amanda photographed here in Afghanistan, photo source ‘Dan’ @http://tiny.cc/AOdis
On June 10th, 2009, Amanda Lindhout made a call to a CTV newsroom. Reading, what can only be perceived as a perpared statement by kidnappers, the weak and emotional sounding Lindhout pleaded with the Canadian government to help bring her home. She also said she fears she will die in captivity if Somalian kidnappers ransom demands are not met. There was no mention of fellow freelance journalists, Nigel Brennan.

To read Amanda Lindhouts full statement, and hear a taped video please refer to the below links:

Source CTV.ca

To see video of taped phone call click here

To read full statement click here.

To sign Petition please go to:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/free-amanda-and-nigel

Public pushes to bring envoys home, not Lindhout

This report from CTV speaks to the apathy shown in Amanda Lindhouts kidnapping case from the very beginning. As a country Canada is simply going to have to do better than this. But then again, a government is only as good as the people it governs. If Canadians don’t seem to give a damn, what is there to motivate our government to step it up, and take this kidnapping seriously? The only reason/s I can find out there that may have something to do with how the public feels, is that Amanda was a freelance journalist, implying she should have ‘known better;’ and she took pride in her appearance.  The implication being, if she had been an unattractive woman, perhaps this wouldn’t have happened to her? Why, I can make no good sense of these attitudes, can you?

Until it is your mother, wife, girlfriend, sister, friend, neighbour or co-worker, perhaps some of you who are of the opinion Amanda ‘deserves to be where she is,’ won’t fully realise the implications behind an act such as kidnapping for doing nothing more than your job in a foriegn country. The point is, it shouldn’t matter why she was in Somalia, Amanda deserves the help of her country and fellow citizens by virtue of the fact that she is one of us, she is a fellow Canadian. And I for one will not forget that she is sick, hungry, afraid, alone and in chains. And will do what I can, however small, to get attention brought her way in the hopes of getting her back on Canadian soil.

Read full Article at below link:

Source: CTV.ca

June 8, 2009

Petition Link

Read posts further down for more information on Amanda & Nigel. Am keeping the petition link at top of page.

Link to petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/free-amanda-and-nigel

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