New York, July 3, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the release early Wednesday morning local time of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who had been held captive for nearly four months in the Gaza Strip. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said:
“We are relieved that Alan Johnston has finally been freed after this cruel ordeal. Now it is up to Palestinian authorities to see that those responsible are located and swiftly brought to justice. As long as those who abduct journalists continue to enjoy impunity, journalists will remain increasingly vulnerable to future attacks.”
At least 16 journalists have been abducted in the Gaza Strip since 2004; all have been released. Johnston was held captive longer than any other journalist abducted in Gaza, according to CPJ research. None of those responsible for abducting journalists have been brought to justice.