International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for the release of
three journalists -- Canadian Amanda Lindhout, Australian
Nigel Brenan and SomaliAbdifatah
Mohammed Elmi and their driver only
named as Mahad -- after they
were abducted on Saturday near the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
incident underscores the terrible dangers and threats that continue to face journalists
said Gabriel Baglo, the Director of the IFJ Africa office. “We call for them to
be set free immediately. The Somali authorities must act urgently to see our
colleagues come to no harm.”
IFJ’s affiliate, the National Union of Somali
Journalists (NUSOJ), Lindhout and Brenan, who are freelance journalists, were abducted
on Saturday as they travelled to Afgoye, situated
25 kilometres from Mogadishu,to visit camps for displaced civilians. Elmi was helping them as translator.
The union says that no claim
has yet been made and the kidnappers have not been identified which has added
to concerns. “We are worried about their safety as we have had no contact with
anybody saying they are holding the journalists and their driver,” said Omar
Faruk Osman, the Secretary General of NUSOJ.
Over the past
two years there have been a number of incidents of foreigners, especially
humanitarian workers, being abducted for ransom in Somalia and then released unharmed.
This latest case
is the first involving media personnel since the abduction of French journalists
Gwen Le Gouil
who was detained eight days last December 2007 in the north of the country.
information contact the IFJ at + 221 33 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries worldwide