Posted by Ian
It’s precisely one calendar month since BBC journalist Alan Johnston was abducted in Gaza. Despite repeated appeals and numerous diplomatic efforts, his whereabouts remain unknown and his fate unclear.
What makes his disappearance all the more ominous is its duration; previous kidnappings in Gaza had, in the main, a tendency to resolve themselves within a matter of days or, at most, weeks. For someone to be missing for a whole month is relatively unprecedented.
Johnston was the only foreign journalist to not only work but also live in Gaza. Over the last three years he endeavoured to, as one Palestinian put it on Radio 4 this morning, "build a bridge" from that troubled, confusing and misunderstood land to the rest of the world.
Trusted, respected, even loved by the people whose lives he worked tirelessly to represent, Johnston had become one of the most lauded journalists of his generation, winning friends and admirers among fellow broadcasters and ordinary viewers alike.
The BBC have classed today, Thursday 12th April, as a day of action to highlight Johnston’s plight and to press for his immediate release. Other news organisations including Sky and CNN are lending their support, and have united in unprecedented fashion to broadcast a joint programme calling for Alan’s freedom.
You can join in the day of action by signing the BBC’s official online petition and, if you like, send an additional written message of support.