Efforts continue to free Lindhout

There’s nothing new, officially, on the status of kidnapped Central Alberta journalist Amanda Lindhout — although the Internet continues to circulate troubling rumours.

There’s nothing new, officially, on the status of kidnapped Central Alberta journalist Amanda Lindhout — although the Internet continues to circulate troubling rumours.

The latest unsubstantiated report from the Jijad Watch: Somalia website quotes unnamed sources alleging that Lindhout had been abused by her abductors.

Federal Foreign Affairs spokesman Andre Lemay would only say on Thursday that the government is aware of different media reports and will continue to pursue all appropriate channels to seek further information about Lindhout’s welfare.

“We will not comment or release any information which may compromise these efforts and jeopardize the safety of a Canadian or other citizen,” he said, reiterating the department’s standard position.

Lindhout, a freelancer, had been providing stories to the Advocate from Iraq and Africa. Her father Jon Lindhout lives in Sylvan Lake and her mother, Lorinda Stewart, lives in B.C.

Foreign Affairs has been trying to assist the Lindhout family in securing the journalist’s safe release, as well as that of Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan, since the pair were abducted eight months ago.

Former Red Deer MP Bob Mills, who has acted as a spokesman for the Lindhout family, hadn’t heard about the alleged abuse, and said he can only hope this report is false.

In the past, hostages held for ransom by Somali abductors have been treated humanely because the objective has always been about getting money, said Mills, who has doubted previous Internet rumours.

Lindhout and Brennan were abducted at gunpoint on Aug. 23 between Mogadishu and a refugee camp in Afgoye. The kidnappers soon demanded a ransom of $2.5 million. They also captured a Somali comrade who was with them, but he has since been released unharmed.

Jihad Watch also claimed Lindhout and Brennan had briefly escaped from the house in which they were being held in Mogadishu’s Suqa Holaha neighbourhood, fleeing to a nearby mosque, where they were recaptured. But Mills said no one was able to substantiate this story.

Meanwhile, the Edmonton-based Alberta Somali Community Association has considered putting Lindhout’s continued captivity on the agenda for a May 10 town hall meeting being planned to publicize the plight of Bashir Makhtal. The Ontarian, of Ethiopian descent, has been jailed in Ethiopia for the past two years on allegations of terrorism, but has never been charged.

Mahamad Accord, executive director of the association, said he first wants an OK from Lindhout’s family, as he wouldn’t want to further jeopardize the journalist.

Lindhout’s parents have not publicly commented on the abduction on the advice of Foreign Affairs. And Mills doubts they would approve of the Somali association taking up her cause.

“The family is happy with what Foreign Affairs is doing.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read