IFJ Welcomes Release of Journalists Held for 15 Months in Somalia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the

National Union of Journalists of Somalia (NUSOJ) in welcoming reports of the

release of Australian photo-journalist Nigel Brennan and Canadian journalist

Amanda Lindhout in Somalia

after 15 months as hostages.

 

Brennan and Lindhout were reportedly

released on November 25. Both are understood to be safe, and

are currently in Mogadishu

awaiting repatriation.

 

The pair were

abducted on August 23, 2008 while visiting a refugee camp on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Their driver and interpreter were

released shortly after the abduction.

 

The NUSOJ, an IFJ affiliate, said Brennan and Lindhout were handed over to four members of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Parliament

at a security checkpoint before being taken to a safe location.

 

The release was welcomed by the

NUSOJ, Australia’s Media

Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Canada’s Canadian Journalists for

Free Expression.

 

“We welcome the happy end to the

tragedy of the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan,” NUSOJ

Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman

said.

 

“The news of the release of Brennan and Lindhout is a welcome reprieve amid a deteriorating safety situation

for foreign and local journalists and media workers in Somalia,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“However, we also know that they will

face a long process of recovery from their ordeal.”

 

Somalia is among the most

dangerous countries for practising journalists, with six media workers killed so

far this year.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide