26 Nov 2009

Kidnappers tortured us, say freed journalists

4:59 pm on 26 November 2009

An Australian photojournalist and his Canadian colleague say they were tortured by Somali kidnappers during 15 months in captivity.

Nigel Brennan and journalist Amanda Lindhout were freed on Wednesday after a ransom was paid to the militants and were expected to fly out of Somalia on Thursday.

The ABC reports a kidnapper has claimed a ransom of about $A1 million was paid but it is unclear who put up the money. The Australian and Canadian governments had both been working to secure the pair's release.

Ms Lindhout told Canadian TV she was beaten and tortured during her captivity.

The pair were captured in August last year, while travelling to camps outside the capital, Mogadishu, for Somalis displaced by the violence.

A Somali journalist, Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, who was working as their interpreter, was also kidnapped. He was released in January.