Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Kidnapped Chandler couple make desperate plea for help

A desperate plea for help by a British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates emerged yesterday.

A gaunt-looking Rachel Chandler, who is being kept separate from her husband Paul, said they were being treated “cruelly” by the pirates who kidnapped the couple in the Indian Ocean more than three months ago.

She begged to be reunited with him and pleaded for help to secure their release in a new film broadcast by Sky News.

The couple, from Tunbridge Wells, were captured while sailing from the Seychelles towards Tanzania in their yacht on October 23.

They have previously spoken of their fears they will be killed as the pirates' demands for money prove fruitless.

The Foreign Office yesterday reiterated its stance that it would not pay a ransom for the couple.

Mrs Chandler, who told a medic who was allowed to examine the pair she was suffering from insomnia and struggling to stay sane, said: “If I was with my husband I would feel a lot better.

“It's because I am not with my husband that I am feeling so lonely and desperate and finding it difficult to sleep. I need to be with Paul. We are husband and wife. We have always been together and we look after one another.

“I am 56 years old and my husband is 60 years old — we are not young people.

“These people are treating us so cruelly.”

The video was recorded on Thursday and smuggled out of Somalia, Sky said.

In a separate scene Mr Chandler said: “I just want to say please to my government get me and my wife out of here.”

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