(Toronto, November 25, 2009) Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is overjoyed by the news that Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and her Australian colleague Nigel Brennan have been released after 15 months in captivity.
The two are in a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Few details have emerged on how their release was secured. But Lindhout has said that a ransom was paid to the kidnappers by the journalists’ parents.
In a telephone interview with CTV Lindhout said that negotiations between her kidnappers and the Somalia government have been going on for the last two weeks.
The journalists were kidnapped in Somalia on August 23, 2008. Lindhout reports that she was held in solitary confinement with no light, no windows with very little food in deplorable conditions and was subjected to beatings and torture.
“It’s wonderful to hear that the long ordeal is over – the longest period of captivity for a Canadian journalist,” says Arnold Amber, CJFE President. “We look forward to having her back home in Canada.”
CJFE has been closely monitoring the case and led a campaign which was supported by over 1000 Canadians, calling on the Canadian government to redouble its efforts to secure the journalists’ release.