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Abducted Journalist Released in Afghanistan

International Federation of Journalists

Monday 10 November 2008

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the release of Canadian journalist Mellissa Fung after four weeks in captivity in Afghanistan . Although currently undergoing medical tests at the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan , Fung is reportedly unharmed and in good health and spirits.

Fung , a correspondent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation , was abducted while on assignment at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the Afghan capital of Kabul on October 12.

The Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) , an IFJ affiliate , said that Fung’s family was kept fully informed of all developments since her abduction and were active participants in the process leading to her release.

A spokesman for the provincial governor in Afghanistan ’s Wardak province informed the AIJA that Fung was freed after negotiations involving tribal elders and provincial council members.

The IFJ joins the AIJA and the Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists (CPAJ) in calling on all sides in the Afghan conflict to honour the neutral and non-combatant status of journalists.

“The IFJ appreciates the fact that Fung was released without any ransom having changed hands , but it deplores the continuing trend of taking journalists hostage whether for with a political or pecuniary motive , ” IFJ Asia -Pacific said.

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