Petition to release journalists held in Somalia

October 28, 2009

A group of six Canadian media organisations have banded together to petition the Canadian government and help raise awareness of the kidnap of freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan in Somalia over one year ago,

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is launching a campaign, joined by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Canadian Media Guild (CMG), the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada and PEN Canada (NEPMCC), asking the federal government to do everything in its power to bring home Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and her Australian colleague Nigel Brennan. link

CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch is careful to note that this new petition is not about media attention,

“is about personal action. Media attention could jeopardise the safety of Amanda and Nigel” link

This petition follows on from an earlier petition which, according to one commenter who appears to have created the petition, has kind of lost steam.

Amanda Lindhout is not the only Canadian freelance journalist being held against her will. Beverly Giesbrecht was kidnapped in the region between Pakistan and Afghanistan in November, 2008. She is still being held.

We’ve followed this kidnap story very closely since August 23, 2008 when the duo were captured, reportedly on the outskirts of Mogadishu a they were heading to an refugee camp. You can see the timeline of events in the graphic above.

If you’d like to add this constantly updated graphic to your website, blog or social networking site please go to Frontline Club on Dipity and grab the “embed widget” and follow the instructions for embedding into your site. Meanwhile here are the contents of the petition letter,

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

We, the friends, supporters and colleagues of Amanda Lindhout, join with the undersigned organisations to ask the Canadian government to make it a top priority to work for the immediate and unconditional release of Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and her Australian colleague Nigel Brennan.

The two journalists have been held in captivity in Somalia for over a year. We urge you to commit full governmental support and resources to work with Amanda’s and Nigel’s families to bring them home. A year is too long – efforts must be redoubled.

Please do everything in your power to bring Amanda home to Canada.

Yours sincerely,

Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
Canadian Media Guild (CMG)
National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC)
PEN Canada link



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