Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout has been held captive in Somalia since August. In January, her Somali colleague Abdifatah Mohammad Elmi, was released. The CBC’s David McGuffin tracked him down in Kenya, where he revealed that no one from the Canadian government has been in touch since his release.
Foreign Affairs, as per usual, said it is pursuing the case through all appropriate channels but offered no details. Apparently it feels that talking to the man who spent some six months with Lindhout and her kidnappers wouldn’t be useful or appropriate.
I wish this suprised me. Unfortunately, this chasm between Canada’s rhetoric and action when it comes to protecting its citizens abroad is not new. As I wrote last year, despite making several chest-thumping statements about how it wants to bring the Iranian government officials who tortured and murdered Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi to justice, Canada refused the help of an Iranian dissident who had first-hand knowledge of her abuse, and hasn’t bothered to talk to Shahram Azam, the doctor who examined her and now lives here.