UK

Film shows Paul and Rachel Chandler 'resigned to dying'

Rachel and Paul Chandler
Image caption The Chandlers say they now want to make contact with the UK's Somali community

Details have emerged of a video in which yacht kidnap victims Paul and Rachel Chandler admit to being "resigned to dying" in Somalia.

The footage, filmed four months ago, shows Mrs Chandler complaining of being "caged up like animals" and describing their captors as "wicked, evil people".

Obtained by the Mail on Sunday, it went unreported at relatives' request until the Kent couple's release this month.

The Chandlers have now told the paper they want the world to help Somalia.

Mrs Chandler, 56, of Tunbridge Wells, and her husband, 60, were kidnapped off their yacht Lynn Rival near the Seychelles in October 2009.

The pirates issued a ransom demand of $7m (£4.7m) in a phone call to the BBC and later threatened to kill the couple.

They were eventually released this month after nearly 400 days in captivity. A ransom, raised with the help of the international Somali community and believed to be in the region of $1m (£625,000), helped deliver their freedom.

'Heartbreaking'

However, the video features the Chandlers talking after an earlier payment of about $430,000 (£267,000) had failed to secure their release. In it, Mrs Chandler speaks of how her brother had written beforehand to say they might soon be freed.

"We've heard nothing since then. They've left us, just kept us caged up like animals," she says.

"They ruined our lives. We have no more life and we are resigned to dying here. They just don't care. They just want to rob everybody, as many people as they can, for their own greedy ends.

"It's heartbreaking to have to live with it day in, day out; these wicked, evil people."

However, the Mail on Sunday's interview reveals their views have since softened.

"People will expect us to want these people dead. But we do not," says Mrs Chandler.

"We actually want to make close contact with Somali people when we get back to England and try to persuade the international community to help restore law and order in their country. That way our suffering will not have been in vain.

"Even those misguided young men who held us for so long could be helped if they had had education instead of brutality."

They couple spoke to the paper during a visit to the government headquarters in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu, before being flown to Nairobi in Kenya and then finally touching down on British soil on Tuesday.

"The situation needs outside help. That will be the only hope of restoring law and order and stopping criminal activity."

The couple also give insight into how they kept fit by practising yoga and aerobics "while the pirates looked on, bemused".

In their first interview after being released, the couple told the BBC their captors had beaten them when they refused to be separated.

But they said the lowest point of their ordeal was leaving their yacht in the first place.

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