If there is one thing that managed to put Somalia on the map more than anything else, it’s the country’s pirates. These pirates are a much more than a nuisance and have proven to be more than a handful for the authorities of a number of nations. Recently, a Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, who at the age of 24 was taken hostage by these pirates and faced their brutality for 15 months penned down her memoirs. It has already hit the stores and if you want a firsthand account of why these pirates are so dreaded maybe you should give it a read.
Amanda, who was an aspiring journalist, had earlier been to dangerous places like Afghanistan and Iraq for assignments. She was even taken hostage for a few hours on one of these assignments, but was rescued soon after. She later made statements criticizing the journalistic community for not having enough courage to take on dangerous assignments. She then decided that she hadn’t had enough of her share of playing with danger and decided to visit Somalia on an assignment. She even managed to convince her Australian ex-boyfriend Nigel to come along.
In Somalia, Nigel and Amanda decided to one day venture into a lawless territory that is even feared by the locals. They pushed the envelope too far this time round and paid the price. They we taken hostage by Somali pirates and in return for their freedom the pirates demanded three million dollars from both Amanda and Nigel’s families. Neither family had the money to give, also both the Australian and the Canadian governments refused to provide any assistance. The pirates on their part refused to lose hope and were confident that they would eventually be given the ransom.
They continued torturing and abusing the duo, who in desperation converted to Islam hoping to be spared the torture. Nothing helped as the pirates continued making the lives of the duo a living hell. Once they tried escaping, they managed, but were eventually caught and besides receiving a severe beating as punishment, Amanda was gang-raped. Eventually in 2009 the hostages were released after 15 harrowing months of brutality that they had faced. There are reports that suggest Amanda became pregnant from one of her rapists and even gave birth to a son named Osama. But, when questioned about this, Amanda refuses to give an answer.