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WashingtonPost: Abducted French security advisers in Mogadishu posed as journalists

“Two French security advisers posing as journalists were abducted from their hotel in Mogadishu on Tuesday by Somali gunmen, according to the foreign ministry and reports from the chaotic Somali capital,” reports the Washington Post.  Full story at this link…

Related:

  • The AFP reports that, according to the Somali defence minister, the pair were ‘kidnapped for cash not politics’.

Background from the Frontline:

“The Telegraph’s Colin Freeman and photographer José Cendón were kidnapped and held for six weeks earlier this year. Meanwhile, freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan after still being held hostage after being kidnapped in Mogadishu in August, 2008. Their driver and fixer were released in January, 2009. This new kidnap comes at a time of ‘fresh fighting’ in the north of Mogadishu, although one could argue fighting never really gets the time to go stale in Mogadishu.”

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Frontline Blog: AFP publishes first reported communication with Lindhout and Brennan since August 2008

“The AFP says one of their Mogadishu based reporters spoke with the two kidnap victims, Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, in Somalia for five minutes on Sunday. Lindhout in particular sounds to be in a very poor way, if this reported phone call is to be believed (…) This is the first reported communication with the duo since they were kidnapped near Mogadishu in August 2008,” reports the Frontline Blog.

Full story at this link…

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Six months on: Lindhout and Brennan are still held hostage in Somalia

Marking six months since their disappearance, this blog post over on the Frontline blog. Graham Holliday has created a timeline, embedded below, marking the course of events.

“Six months ago today [Sunday 22 February] the first reports came in of the kidnap of Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout, freelance photographer Nigel Brennan and their fixers and driver. The team were reportedly abducted just outside Mogadishu. The fixer and driver were subsequently released, but Lindhout and Brennan remain hostage,” he writes.

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Official statement from family of BBC journalist, Kate Peyton

Further to the interview and news item on the Journalism.co.uk main page, here is the Peyton family’s official statement, made following the conclusion of the inquest investigating the circumstances of BBC journalist Kate Peyton’s death in Somalia in 2005. The Coroner’s verdict can be read here, as reported at the Guardian.

“We are gratified that, after nearly four years, the Coroner has been able to offer some advice as to how the BBC might improve its treatment of journalists asked to undertake dangerous assignments – especially when there may be aspects of their personal lives or of the nature of their employment that impair their capacity to make a clear and considered judgment of issues of risk, both to themselves and their colleagues.

“However, we have found it baffling, depressing and exhausting that the BBC has put so much of its energy, and considerable financial resources, into preventing that advice from being heard – beginning in 2005 with a claim from a senior newsgathering executive that it was ‘neither necessary nor appropriate’ to look into the detail of the deployment and the role of Kate’s immediate manager in it, and concluding with strenuous efforts to narrow the Coroner’s scope so radically that nothing would have been considered other than events after Kate’s arrival in Mogadishu.

“We would like to believe that the BBC is sincere in its assurance, given in court, that it will incorporate the Coroner’s advice into its future procedures; but given that, since this summer, it has strained every nerve to prevent him from having the opportunity to deliver that advice, and even now has not ruled out judicially reviewing his decision, we have reason to doubt its seriousness.

“We wholeheartedly agree with the substance of the Coroner’s advice. In light of it, we would like to ask whether it is sensible to employ journalists who may be asked to go to dangerous countries on a regular basis using short-term contracts. In our view, this practice presents a clear possibility of the repetition of tragedies such as this.”

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allAfrica.com: Radio director detained in Somalia

November 26th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Armed Somali government troops have jailed the director of Warsan radio station in the south-western town of Baidoa, reports the Shabelle Media Network in Mogadishu, for allAfrica.com.

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