IPI Calls for the Immediate Release of BBC Journalist in the Palestinian Authority

UPIIPI Public Statements

IPI Calls for the Immediate Release of BBC Journalist in the Palestinian Authority

London, UK (rushprnews)12 April 2007: One Month after his Abduction, IPI Calls for the Immediate Release of BBC Journalist in the Palestinian Authority

The International Press Institute, (IPI), expresses its grave concern for the well-being of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was abducted by unknown assailants in Gaza one month ago.

Johnston has been the BBC correspondent in Gaza for three years – the only western broadcast journalist both living and working there. He was seized by masked gunmen while on his way home from his office in Gaza City on the evening of 12 March. No group has claimed responsibility for Johnston’s abduction and there has been no word on his whereabouts or his condition.

Commenting on Johnston’s abduction, IPI Director Johann P. Fritz said: “In recent years, a number of foreign journalists have been abducted from within the Palestinian Authority by militant groups who seek to use these journalists as bargaining chips to publicize their grievances and demands. This disturbing practice has led to heightened safety concerns for media working in the region.”

“In most cases, these journalists have been released unharmed, often on the same day of their abduction. Johnston’s lengthy period of captivity only increases our concern for his safety and well being,” Fritz added.

“IPI calls for Johnston’s immediate release and supports the intensive efforts that have been made by groups both within the Palestinian Authority and around the world to ensure that he is freed.

Read Country Reports on ‘Palestinian Authority’:

2005 World Press Freedom Review
2004 World Press Freedom Review
2003 World Press Freedom Review
2002 World Press Freedom Review
2001 World Press Freedom Review
2000 World Press Freedom Review
1999 World Press Freedom Review
1998 World Press Freedom Review

Journalists killed in ‘Palestinian Authority’:

Date: 22 March 2004 (1)
Date: 02 March 2004 (1)
Date: 02 May 2003 (1)
Date: 19 April 2003 (1)
Date: 22 September 2002 (1)
Date: 12 July 2002 (1)
Date: 18 March 2002 (1)
Date: 13 March 2002 (1)
Date: 31 July 2001 (2)
Date: 17 January 2001 (1)
Date: 28 October 2000 (1)