A desperate cry for help has been heard from an Alberta journalist, kidnapped a world away almost nine months ago.
Sylvan Lake native Amanda Lindhout’s Somalian captors allowed her, or someone impersonating her, to speak with an Agence France-Presse correspondent for five minutes on Sunday.
“I have been sick for months. Unless my government, the people of Canada, all my family and friends can get one million dollars, I will die here, that is certain,” Lindhout reportedly said.
Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, an Australian photographer, were abducted outside Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu last August.
Somali Journalists Rights Agency spokesman Daud Abdi Daud told Metro yesterday that fighting in Mogadishu halted all negotiations, but that Lindhout could be released within two months if violence quells.
“An idea about how Amanda and Nigel can get their freedom is dependant on the fighting in Mogadishu,” he said.
Daud confirmed that Lindhout has been living in a windowless room, is only fed once a day, and has no access to clean water.
He believes Lindhout has been seriously ill for five of the nine months she’s been held captive.
Unconfirmed reports that Lindhout is pregnant make her imprisonment a dire situation, he added.
It is not known where Lindhout and Brennan are being held, but it’s believed the distressed pair read from a statement, and pleaded for more help from their governments to ensure their release.
“We are requesting the position of the Somali government and the position of the international community to help release the hostages,” Daud said.
A man described only as a intermediary for kidnappers told AFP: “Anyone who is concerned about their situation should contribute to their release, otherwise they will be suffering even more.”