I apologize to Amanda Lindhout, because I'm pretty sure this birthday is not going to be a good one.
I'm going to come right out and say it. This fact that freelance reporter Amanda Lindhout is likely still being held captive by kidnappers after being snatched almost 10 months ago in Somalia really pisses me off. It pisses me off because it's ignored and swept under the rug. It pisses me off that the only people that are making noise are private citizens, friends, family and journalists.
It seems that Lindhout's case has all but been ignored by the government. I have no idea what the folks at Foreign Affairs are doing (also, because they won't ever tell us) but from what I've seen, it amounts to very little. Kidnappings are common in Somlia, and more often than not, hostages are released within six weeks.
Because Lindhout is a freelancer (as I was when I worked in Africa) she's basically on her own - other than friends or her family, no outlet will take responsibility for the complicated situation she now faces. Simply put, she's screwed. Staff reporters have the backing of their media organizations. Lindhout does not.
A woman who claimed to be Lindhout called CTV this week and pleaded with the Canadian government that she required "immediate aid" for her survival. Now, we don't know if it was Lindhout, mind you but I feel like we're sitting here twiddling our thumbs.
What is the government doing?
Has Stephen Harper ever uttered her name?
According to this story, Foreign Affairs knows about the situation in Somalia (clap, clap) and that officials "continue to pursue all the appropriate channels."
Great. Congrats guys. Way to get right on it.
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Amanda. I hope you get home soon.