CTV News say it has received a phone call from a woman claiming to be Amanda Lindhout, a freelance Canadian journalist held hostage in Somalia for nearly ten months.
The CTV report quotes the woman as saying she’s been kept in a windowless room in chains, without clean drinking water and has been sick and without medication for months.
Lindhout, who is from Sylvan Lake, and Nigel Brennan, an Australian photographer, were abducted by roadside kidnappers outside the capital city of Mogadishu Aug. 23, 2008.
Appearing to be reading from a statement, the woman begs Ottawa and the Canadian people to help her family pay the ransom demanded by the kidnappers, CTV reports.
The Agence France-Presse news agency reported a similar phone conversation with Lindhout last month, in which she reportedly said that unless a $1 million ransom was paid, she would die.
Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Emma Welford says the department is aware of the CTV report, but would not comment or release any information which may jeopardize the safety of the two hostages.