A Canadian mother has recounted hearing her own daughter getting hurt by Somalian kidnappers during a harrowing phone call.
Journalist Amanda Lindhout spent 460 days as a captive of Somali insurgents along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan from August 2008 to September 2009.
Prompted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Lindhout’s mother Lorinda Stewart became the lead hostage negotiator, taking on the emotionally confronting task of establishing trust with her daughter’s captors.
Stewart set out to establish trust with the Somalis demanding a ransom, even if it meant listening as they tortured her daughter.
“I knew that I had to hang up, but I also had a message that I needed to get to the kidnappers,” Stewart told CTV.
“I had to stay on the call long enough to get my message across while I was listening to my daughter being hurt.”
Lindhout’s family had to raise a huge sum of money to pay her ransom, leading to her release in 2009.
But Stewart said the reunion was not the joyous occasion people might have expected.
“It was shocking and horrifying to see the condition that my daughter was in when I saw her the first time,” Stewart said.
“Her eyes looked haunted with pain. It was extremely difficult.”
Without any financial help from the Australian Government, Brennan was released with the help of Greens senator Bob Brown and businessman Dick Smith.
Stewart has now penned a book detailing her ordeal, entitled One Day Closer.
Meanwhile, Lindhout and Brennan’s alleged captor Ali Omar Ader is currently on trial in Ottawa after being lured to Mauritius by undercover Mounties.
The Mounties posed as a publisher and book agent and flew Ader to the Indian Ocean nation by telling him they wanted him to write his story.
Source: – 9News