Nigel Brennan.
Nigel Brennan. Mike Knott

Brennan urges change to laws

THE Federal Government needs to implement recommendations put forth in the Senate's report after the inquiry into kidnappings of Australians overseas, according to former NewsMail photographer Nigel Brennan.

Mr Brennan was held hostage in Somalia for about 15 months in 2008 and 2009 before his family, who live at Moore Park Beach, hired private contractors to organise a ransom to secure his release.

Mr Brennan yesterday told the NewsMail he was concerned the Federal Government would not implement any of the recommendations made in the Senate's report.

"I know that after David Wilson's case none of the 33 recommendations were implemented," he said.

The Senate committee report, which was handed down on Friday, recommended eight causes of action.

The inquiry focused on Mr Brennan's kidnapping as well as the kidnappings of John Martinkus and David Wood.

Mr Brennan urged the government to give all the recommendations equal weight when implementing them.

Among the recommendations was a call to provide specially trained personal to respond to incidences such as overseas kidnappings.

"The government needs to recognise that they don't have the experience and they should be passing negotiations on to kidnapping companies," he said.

Another recommendation called for better communication between the government and the victim's family and the media.

Mr Brennan said a lack of communication may have meant he may have spent longer than necessary held captive.

He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) refused to hand over information to the private contractors his family had hired.

"They said it was because of security concerns," he said.

"By not having that information it probably prolonged my time held hostage."

Other recommendations included ensuring kidnapping victims had adequate help accessing counselling services once released.

Mr Brennan said he was still struggling to get information about his kidnapping from DFAT.

"It is just phone calls and that sort of thing that they said they would hand over," he said.


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