Thursday, July 23, 2009Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) remains extremely concerned that at this date, four Canadians are captive in different parts of the world. These journalists are very much in our thoughts as we work to gather information and continue campaigning to bring about their release. Today, July 23, marks the 11-month point in the long captivity of Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and her Australian colleague, Nigel Brennan. They were taken hostage by kidnappers near the Somali capital of Mogadishu. In Pakistan, Canadian Beverley Giesbrecht, also known as Khadija Abdul Qahaar, was reportedly captured at gunpoint on November 11, 2008. In a video appeal made by Giesbrecht in February she claims she is still being held against her will by the Taliban. Two other Canadian journalists are being held in prison by the government of Iran. Blogger Hossein Derakhshan was imprisoned in November 2008. Still no charges have been laid against him. And in the aftermath of the Iranian election, journalist and internationally acclaimed filmmaker Maziar Bahari was arrested on June 21, 2009. CJFE, CPJ and Index on Censorship are currently appealing for his release with the 100 Journalist Petition. Click here for more details. One Canadian journalist being held prisoner is one too many. To have four Canadian journalists denied their freedom is a blight for press freedom in Canada and internationally. We hope that the release of these four journalists is imminent. And we strongly urge anyone with the ability to bring them to safety to do everything in their power to do so.
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