Alan Johnston

Posted by Ian
It’s 50 days since the BBC’s Gaza correspondent was abducted. Despite reports trickling out affirming he is still alive and his condition is well, Alan’s precise whereabouts and wellbeing remain frustratingly unclear. Efforts to free him from his captors have failed.
Last night the BBC marked Alan’s 50th night in captivity by projecting his image onto the outside of BBC Television Centre and releasing 50 balloons. More than 65,000 people have now signed the official petition demanding Alan’s release.
As noted on this blog a few weeks ago, he 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 recently, "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, Alan had become one of the most lauded journalists of his generation, winning friends and admirers among fellow broadcasters and ordinary viewers alike.
There are a number of ways you can show your support for Alan. You can add your name and comments to the BBC petition. You can leave a message of support on the BBC news website. And you can add a special button to your blog or website, as we have done, to ensure the campaign for his release remains as well-publicised as possible. 
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10 Responses to Alan Johnston

  1. Unknown says:

    Having lived in Beirut during the Israeli invasion in 1982 I have the greatest admiration for any journalist who tries to find a way of reporting the true facts of what is really happening in that part of the Middle East.  Alan Johnston obviously recognised the need to inform the world of the injustices the Palestinian people have to live with on a daily basis. I can only hope and pray his captors are holding him purely as a way of increasing the publicity of their plight and will be treating him well.  However few supporters of the Palestinian plight will see it this way.  His captors should release him, unharmed, now.  The publicity value of a longer period of captivity diminishes daily.   Gerry Brown

  2. Unknown says:

       Pleasewhoever you are let him go free – you have NOTHING to gain by keeping him, and his voice means so much to so many- you are only harming the palestinian cause more and more each day among those like me who are – or were on your side-

  3. KEITH says:

    If it had been my child that had been abducted I don\’t think I could have coped with all the attention that is being focused on the parents in this sad case. To see my photo splashed across the front page of a major Sunday paper, looking like I had just won the lottery rather than being grief stricken, would really upset me.

  4. Norma says:

      I agree.  It\’s good to know that I\’m not the only one who thinks like this.  The press ought to be repremanded for their actions.  It\’s absolutely blatant that they manufactured this story so that they weren\’t stood in front of cameras with nothing to report.  I hope the people involved are going to take the matter further.  I also feel that if the parents had come from a working class, inner city background all they would have heard from the press would be how they should be repremanded and held up as an example of poor parenting.  God help it if it happened to a single mum!  The way everyone ignores the fact that this could have been avoided astounds me.  I too am a mum and I try to imagine leaving my kids, locking the door and going into an unlit street to a place where I couldn\’t see them.  What if one of the children had woken up and was crying for its mummy?  What if there was a gas leak?  The possibilities would be endless.  I\’m not saying that they deserved this to happen, and I truly wish them the safe return of their daughter.  I hope lessons are learned from this. 

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