Freedom

Somali Pirates Release Kidnapped Brits

After a long and horrifying ordeal, Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple who were kidnapped by Somali pirates over a year ago as they slept on their yacht 800 miles off the East African coast, were released Sunday. “I'm fine, thank you, enjoying being free, but we are still in Somalia,” said Mrs. Chandler in a telephone call with Reuters. “We are with the good guys now. We will be making our way to [neighboring Kenya's capital, Nairobi] later in the day today.” Reportedly “caged like animals” for 388 days, according to The Daily Telegraph, the Chandlers were the longest-held captives of the Somali pirates, and Mrs. Chandler was struck by a rifle butt, knocking out her tooth. The pirates originally asked for nearly $7 million in ransom for the couple, but Al Jazeera reports that after about $300,000 was paid Saturday, mostly by Somali well-wishers in London, the couple was released. The total amount paid for the couple is between $800,000 and $1 million, and the British government refused to get involved because they have a strict policy against caving to ransom demands.