James Loney, a Canadian peace activist who was kidnapped in Iraq in 2005, spoke out about media’s coverage of kidnappings, including the decision to hold the story of CBC reporter Mellissa Fung’s kidnapping in Afghanistan and the decision to report the news of freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout’s kidnapping in Somalia.
Loney said he feels it is necessary for media outlets to withhold information in some situations. A Canadian Press report stated:
“Loney said his time in captivity was a nightmare full of waiting and uncertainty but he said his situation may have been much worse had the media not withheld the fact he is gay. Homosexuality is outlawed in the majority of Muslim countries and some of them carry the death penalty for those presumed guilty of homosexual acts.
“I was very, very grateful that that was done because that would not have helped me or the rest of us in captivity if that was known,” said Loney, who was in Edmonton on a speaking engagement.”
Lindhout is still missing and her captors have reportedly demanded millions of dollars for her release.