French journalists released in Afghanistan

New York, June 29, 2001–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes reports from the French government that journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their interpreter Reza Din have been released after more than 18 months in captivity. CPJ is seeking further news about the group’s fixer and driver, known as Ghulam and Sattar, who were also abducted.

“The liberation of Hervé Ghesquière, Stéphane Taponier, and Reza Din is wonderful news for them, their families and all journalists who pursue news in troubled regions,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “We are relieved that this ordeal has come to an end.”

Ghesquière, Taponier, Din and the others were kidnapped on December 29, 2009 in a village northeast of Kabul by Afghan militants while working for France 3 Television.  The two journalists are expected to return to France on Thursday morning.