Wednesday, January 16, 2008Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) welcomes news of the release yesterday of Somali journalist Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi. We hope that this will be followed immediately by the release of the two journalists kidnapped along with Elmi, Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian journalist Nigel Brennan. The National Union of Somali Journalists reports that Elmi says he was held in a different location from the two international journalists. Elmi had been held for 146 days at the time of his release. The three journalists were abducted just outside Mogadishu on August 23, 2008, and little had been heard from their kidnappers other than a ransom demand of $2.5 million several months ago. CJFE joins with NUSOJ in calling for the release of Lindhout and Brennan, and hopes that the political change in the country will translate into goodwill and the safe release of the two journalists. CJFE is extremely concerned about the dangers facing journalists working in politically turbulent countries such as Somalia and Pakistan. Another Canadian journalist, Khadija Abdul Qahaar - also known as Beverly Giesbrecht - was kidnapped in Pakistan on November 11, 2008, and is reportedly still being held. We urge the government of Canada to do everything in its power to work for the release of these journalists. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is an association of more than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and abroad.
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