Urgent Appeal to Captors for Reporter’s Release

Pakistan: CPJ urges kidnappers to release Daniel Pearl (January 28, 2002)


New York, January 30, 2002—In response to his captors’ demands and threats against Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s life, CPJ called again for the reporter’s release in a statement today.

“We appeal to the captors of Danny Pearl to release him immediately, so that he can rejoin his wife, who is pregnant with their first child, and resume his work of reporting the news,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper.

“Daniel Pearl is a solid, experienced journalist, known for his sincere efforts to get at the truth. He went to Pakistan to find out what was happening from the Pakistani perspective, and to report that to the readers of his newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.

“His kidnappers have gained absolutely nothing by holding him hostage. They will gain absolutely nothing by threatening to kill him. They will also gain nothing by threatening other journalists working in Pakistan,” Cooper said.

CPJ honorary co-chairman Terry Anderson, who was taken hostage while reporting from Beirut, Lebanon in 1985, added, “there is no way to negotiate these demands, they can’t get anything and they won’t get anything. They won’t win.”

“Holding a journalist like Daniel hostage remains pointless. We ask them to reconsider. They need to rectify the situation and the only way to do that is to release Daniel,” said Anderson.

Daniel Pearl has been missing in Pakistan since January 23.

Ann Cooper and Terry Anderson are both available for comments. Please contact
Abi Wright at 212-465-1004 x105.