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Local journalist released by kidnappers while Canadian reporter, Australian photojournalist still in captivity

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes with profound relief the safe release of Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi after 146 days in captivity by kidnappers who abducted him with Canadian journalist Amanda Lindout and Australian journalist Nigel Brenan on 23 August 2008.

Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi, freelance photojournalist, was released Thursday night, 15 January 2009, with two drivers, Mahad Isse and Marwali, who were with the three journalists when they were abducted. Elmi said that they blindfolded them and then put them in a four-wheel drive vehicle that took them to Mogadishu's Bakara market.

When asked about the whereabouts of Lindout and Brenan, Elmi told NUSOJ that they were held in two separate locations from the day they were kidnapped. He stated that he was only being held with the two Somali drivers.

"We are very pleased that our colleague Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi was released unhurt and in good health but even as we give a standing ovation for this excellent news, we remain tremendously concerned over the destiny of our colleagues Amanda Lindout and Nigel Brenan," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

"We call upon the transitional government, the alliance of re-liberation of Somalia and traditional elders to make use of the current political change in the country to secure the safe release of Amanda and Nigel. We demand their immediate release," Omar Faruk added.

Updates the Lindhout, Elmi and Brenan cases: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/96421

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