The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has announced that the Canadian female journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan were released yesterday (25 November) after 15 months in captivity.
“The two journalists were taken to heavily guarded Hotel Sahafi in central Mogadishu, where they are staying tonight. They are due to be flown to Nairobi tomorrow morning.
“Four members of the Transitional Federal Parliament led by Ahmed Diriye were handed over the two journalists at Sarkuus checkpoint near Ex-control of Afgoye District, last checkpoint of TFG forces.”
From Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a reminder of the anniversary of the abduction of Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan in Somalia.
“We are very worried about these two hostages, given the length of their ordeal and the extreme dangers prevailing in Somalia.” Reporters Without Borders said. “We reiterate our support for their families and we hope they will be released without delay.”
“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…
It’s a case about which we know very little information. The Frontline Blog reports on what appears to be the latest communication with the journalists held in Somalia since August 2008: Canadian freelance Amanda Lindhout and Australian freelance Nigel Brennan. It is reported that Lindhout called the CTV national newsroom this week, stating that she is ‘kept in a dark, windowless room in chains without any clean drinking water and little food or no food. I’ve been very sick for months without any medicine.’
“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.
“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.