The Canadian Association of Journalists is again urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to help bring kidnapped Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout home.
It has been one year since Lindhout was abducted in Somalia and there appears to be little progress in securing her release. In a letter sent Friday, the CAJ asked the Prime Minister to bring the full weight of his office to bear on Lindhout’s rescue.
“Not only is Lindhout still in captivity and in danger, her family, friends and fellow journalists have no idea what the Canadian government is doing to help free her,” said CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch in a statement. “We’re asking Prime Minister Harper to use all methods at his disposal to bring Lindhout home and demonstrate that the Canadian government is willing to help protect reporters who are working abroad to bring the news home to Canadians.”
Lindhout was abducted in Somalia on Aug. 23, 2008, along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan who is also still missing.
On Deadline has written about Lindhout’s plight, as have some other bloggers and freelance writers. There has been contact with Canadian media over the last year by a woman claiming to be Lindhout but the only visual, to this point, was a short video of her and Brennan released just after their capture.
Here in Toronto, earlier this summer, Lindhout’s capture created some interesting debate on CFRB. Some people calling in argued she understood the risk associated with what she was doing and that giving into ransom demands was not acceptable. Other callers were outraged at the lack of support for her and Brennan and the apparent lack of progress on her situation by our Canadian government.
We would like to believe our foreign affairs department and government have been working to secure Lindhout’s release. However, until then, our position has not changed and we too join CAJ in their effort to press the government to action.