Judith Tebbutt, 56, whose husband, David, 58, was shot and killed in front of her when gunmen broke into their hut in a Kenyan beach resort on September 11 (and who was subsequently kidnapped and taken to Somalia by pirates) is reportedly suffering from severe depression as well as a fever. The source of her condition is one of the pirate leaders.
COMMENT: To make matters worse, the pirates are apparently moving Mrs. Tebbutt frequently in order to thwart any rescue efforts either by the Kenyan or British governments. Moreover, she is also deaf and is apparently having difficulty communicating with her captors.
Unfortunately, it is normal practice for kidnappers to make no ransom demand and to prolong the captivity of the victim in order to pressure families and governments endeavoring to secure the victim's release to meet ransom demands. A further downside in all of this is whether the pirates holding Mrs. Tebbutt are inclined to arrange for medical and psychological treatment or even have the resources to provide it.
It is estimated that Somalian pirates are currently holding as many as 50 vessels and several hundred hostages, yet presumably several developed nations stand by, apparently impotent to take action.