The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Friday [13 April] repeated its call for the immediate and unconditional release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston who was kidnapped over a month ago in Gaza by a group that has yet to make any public statement about holding him.
On Monday the IFJ will participate in a vigil being held by the BBC in Brussels to urge his captors to free him. IFJ affiliates in Gaza, the West Bank, the UK and elsewhere have been demonstrating for Johnston’s release. “We are extremely worried about Alan and we call on the Palestinian government to do everything in its power to make sure he is released immediately,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “These types of kidnappings are doing great harm not just to journalism but to the development of the region in general by making it impossible for journalists to work safely and report on developments there.” The IFJ is working with journalists of the BBC and their union based in the UK and Ireland, the National Union of Journalists, in a series of events highlighting the case of Johnston. The IFJ is asking journalists, media workers and supporters in Brussels to come to the demonstration on Monday, which will be held at 3:15 p.m. local time in front of the Berlaymont Building in Brussels. It will mark exactly 5 weeks from the date he was kidnapped by unknown men in Gaza.
This is the media statement from the IFJ, it is a tragic situation when a journalist is kidnapped or killed and it happens all too often in the Middle East. But it also happens in Russia Africa, Latin and South America, China and many other parts of the world.
The IFJ keeps an updated list of disappearances, murders and beatings of journalists.
Don’t shoot the messenger!