This is an open letter to all Australians, Canadians and people of conscience.
Please do not let this story go away.
I have known Amanda Lindhout for a very long time. We haven’t actually met face-to-face, but we’ve had a long association.
I have never met Nigel Brennan. He, nor any members of his family, have made any attempt to contact me
or acknowledge the role played by Ahmed.
At the time Amanda and I established communication she was working with PressTV as a correspondent in Baghdad. Difficult times. She would often call me - or I her - and have lengthy conversations about her problems in that war-torn city.
We’d also spend extended time on MSN or some other social network chatting about how dangerous things were for her.
We became quite close. Amanda was being treated abysmally by the management of PressTV. She was being threatened by her bureau chief, which at one point led to the management sending an email to the bureau chief (which I still have) stating: You are not allowed to kill our correspondent.
I kid you not.
It was an awful situation.
When she quit and started working as a freelance for organisations such as France24 and CTV, I was happy for her.
She moved on, and began working on other projects.
I was communicating with her on Facebook the day before she was taken hostage.
The rest - the 15 months captivity and her subsequent release you you can research on the Internet.
I am in awe of her courage to venture back to East Africa, and as someone who is closely involved with the NGO and charitable sector myself,
her success in raising awareness and helping those in need is nothing short of heroic. Plaudits, kudos.
But I am troubled. Deeply troubled.
This enquiry in Australia might provide some interesting - but lengthy - reading.