Six months and counting

February 22, 2009

Six months ago today the first reports came in of the kidnap of Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout, freelance photographer Nigel Brennan and their fixers and driver. The team were reportedly abducted just outside Mogadishu. The fixer and driver were subsequently released, but Lindhout and Brennan remain hostage.

A ransom demand of $100,000 was recently reported, down from an alleged $2.5 million some months earlier. There were also reports of an attempted escape, but since then there has been no news.

British journalist Colin Freeman and Spanish photographer José Cendón were also kidnapped in Somalia on November 26, 2008. They were reporting on pirates in Bosasso. However they were released some six weeks later. While I hope for a speedy release of Lindhout and Brennan, I do sometimes wonder whether there is one rule for freelancers and one for staffers in these situations.

The above interactive dipity graphic is a timeline of the Lindhout/Brennan kidnap created from news reports. I will continue to update it as and when I receive any news updates.

UPDATE: There is an online petition to put pressure on the Canadian and Australian governments to help to finally pay the bloody ransom and free the two freelancers.