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Kidnapped Alberta journalist calls CTV News
Published Wednesday, June 10, 2009 8:15PM MDT
An Alberta journalist, who's been held hostage in Somalia for nearly 10 months, has made contact with CTV News.
Amanda Lindhout says she's in desperate need of medical help and is begging for her ransom to be paid.
Early Wednesday morning a woman who claims to be Amanda Lindhout called the CTV National newsroom and read this statement:
"My name is Amanda Lindhout and I am a Canadian citizen and I've been held hostage by gunmen in Somalia for nearly 10 months. I'm in a desperate situation. I'm being kept in a dark, windowless, room in chains without any clean drinking water and little or no food. I've been very sick for months without any medicine so I'm begging my government and fellow citizens to assist my family in paying my ransom. The Canadian government must have some duty to help its citizens in such a crisis and my fellow citizens can assist me in putting pressure on my government. I love my country and want to live to see it again. Without food or medicine, I will die here and I'm in need of immediate aid. I implore my family whom I love more than anything to continue to search for money for my release. Without it, I will die here. I also tell them they must deal directly with these people as my life depends on it. My life is worth more than any money spent. To fellow journalists in Canada please help bring attention to my situation and continue in any way possible in order that I may return home to Canada. That's all I can say."
CTV News played a recording of the call to someone who knows her very well and that person said there's no doubt the voice belongs to Amanda Lindhout.
CTV News also contacted Lindhout's family about the statement but they refused to comment.
Lindhout is a journalist from Red Deer who was working for a French news agency in Somalia when she was kidnapped on August 23rd.
Along with Lindhout, her photographer Nigel Brennan and their translator were also captured near Mogadishu while they were on their way to a refugee camp.
After the kidnapping, a $2.5-million ransom was demanded. CTV News has learned that ransom has now been dropped to $1-million.
In January, the translator was let go but Lindhout and Brennan remain hostages.
In two days, Lindhout will turn 28-years-old.