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Help Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan

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Freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan remain hostages in Somalia almost one year since they were nabbed on the outskirts of Mogadishu in August, 2008. Despite reports of them both being in a very bad health and of Lindhout reportedly being pregnant, it appears the Australian and Canadian governments refuse to cough up the, by now, pretty pathetic ransom amount of $100,000.

Three days ago I posted a link to an online petition on the @frontlineblog twitter account to help put pressure on the two governments to do something. Now, I'm not the biggest believer in online petitions - in fact I'm a complete cynic - but with few other options left to pressure the authorities into paying - and it is only by paying that they will be released - it's worth pushing the petition if it can reach its goal of 5,000 signatures.

Unfortunately, if the statistics above are anything to go by, plenty of people have clicked through to the petition link, yet few have bothered to sign it. Less than 50 additional signatures have been added since I posted the link, yet nearly 3,000 people clicked the link. This is a gentle nudge to sign. You just never know, 5,000+ signatures might just help.

UPDATE: Just to clarify, opinions about paying kidnappers in this case are my own, not those of the Frontline Club. Money, and little else, talks in Somalia... In my opinion.


anonymous | July 7, 2009 12:56 PM

thank you for the continued support, however the fact of $100,000 is incorrect.

had this been the facts nigel and amanda would have been released months ago.

the australian & canadian Governments have been unsuccessfully negotiating for the past ten months and the ransom has not really changed from the original demands.
the hostage takers will not accept that the governments will not pay ransom and the families certainly do not have US $ 1 million plus for the release their son and daughter.

AJ | July 14, 2009 5:21 AM

I've been following this story since last August.
I signed the petition early one when it was originally set at 10,000 signatures.
I wonder what it says about us that so few seem to care...

Although the Canadian government likes to trumpet their policy of not paying ransoms,
I've heard that they negotiated with Al-Qaeda through intermediate parties for the release
of the two diplomats kidnapped earlier this year.
It's a sad and disgusting truth that our current government doesn't care for its “regular” citizens
or have much respect for human life. It's well known that they've gone out of their way to keep some citizens from returning to Canada.
I'll send a letter to my member of parliament urging them to make it a legal requirement for the government to help ALL its citizens who are in need over seas.
I pray that Amanda and Nigel will one day soon be able to return to their families.
I also wish for the best for the president of Somalia. He's facing an impossible situation.

T Lee Humphrey | August 5, 2009 4:28 PM

Sadly neither government can or will do anything directly. In May negotiations stopped for two reasons, one Amanda and Nigel were sold to al Shabob and two their was an escalation of fighting which needed the organizations attention. There is an opportunity to make a deal coming as al Shabob seems to have gained the upper hand and can openly negotiate but the window wil be small and if unsucessful Nigel will be jeopardy of becoming an exclaimation point. Being a man and an Australian (after recent raids against Somali targets in Melbourne) are not good.

Good luck to the negotiators and to those trying to raise the money for a payment.

shaz_mtl | October 25, 2009 3:15 PM

I started this petition on May 28th, 2009 out of complete frustration as it seemed nothing was moving for these two. I, like the above writer thought it was definitely worth the time and effort to at least try a petition. It originally began with a goal of 10,000 signatures, I lowered it because of the stagnation in garnering support. I've tried to bring awarness of its existence but again, as was written above, people seem to be clicking through and few sign.

It boggles the mind, why the disinterest.

I thank Mr. Graham Holliday and others like him who have done their best to help bring awarness to Amanda & Nigel's kidnapping, and the petition.

S Rodrigues

J McNeill | October 30, 2009 7:37 AM

I do not understand why we are having such a hard time getting support for this petition.

I assumed that Canadians & Australians would all be outraged at the brutality that Amanda & Nigel are suffering.

Violently kidnapped in Somalia August 2008 & still barely any support for them in October 2009.

Laura & Euna’s Petition had over 88,000 signatures.

Do you need famous people on your side to get support.
If I thought it would help I would send letters requesting assistance, to Madona and Angelina.
They both have a connection to Africa, maybe they know people who could plead with the tribal leaders.

The Canadian & Australian Government have failed Amanda & Nigel.

I sent emails to Gov Reps:[email protected] Mr.Canon Foreign Affairs Minister

Whatever they say they are doing, has not worked.
Time to try a new approach to liberating Amanda and Nigel.