The British couple kidnapped by Somalian pirates more than seven months ago appealed directly to David Cameron last night to help free them and warned they are being treated like ‘animals’.
In a video which showed them looking stronger and more confident than in previous tapes, Paul Chandler warned that the expectations of the kidnap gang had been raised by the change of government in Britain.
Speaking calmly and clearly after 217 days of torment, he said: ‘If the Government is not prepared to help they must say so because the gangsters’ hopes and expectations have been raised because of a new government.’
The 60-year-old civil engineer and his wife Rachel were shown side by side and looking tanned in barren, harsh scrubland on the extraordinary video filmed at the weekend and broadcast on ITN and Channel 4.
Openly and defiantly accusing the armed pirates looking on of mistreating them, Mrs Chandler, 56, an economist, said: ‘We are just animals to them . . . caged up like animals, they don’t care about us and our families at home.’
Her husband went on: ‘It’s not piracy. This is absolutely not piracy. It must not be reported as such. It’s kidnap and even torture. They don’t care whose lives they ruin, they just want the money.