Campaign for Alan Johnston
The BBC’s Palestinian Territories correspondent has been held hostage in the Gaza Strip since 12 March.
Kidnapped on 12 March 2007, Alan Johnston is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s full-time correspondent in the Palestinian Territories.
A British citizen, Johnston has been employed by the BBC since 1991. The countries he has covered as a foreign correspondent during the past 16 years include Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. In Gaza, he covered Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005, the Hamas election victory in 2006 and the violence between the Palestinian factions that began last year.
In the past three years, he took a particular interest in social and political developments in the Gaza Strip, where he was the only permanent western correspondent. He had been due to return to Britain on 1 April.
His abduction has triggered widespread outrage. Palestinian journalists have staged many demonstrations in support of Johnston and to condemn the inability of the authorities to obtain his release. Several international TV networks issued a joint appeal for his release on the day he completed a month in captivity. The same day, Reporters Without Borders unveiled a large photo of Johnston in London’s Trafalgar Square. Many journalists and representatives of press freedom organisations gathered in Lebanon on 16 April to express their concern.
A total of 14 journalists have been kidnapped in the Gaza Strip since January 2005. This is the first time that any of the kidnap victims has held for more than two weeks.
4 July 2007 - After 114 days as hostage, Alan Johnston says: “It is just the most fantastic thing to be free”
2 July 2007 - Hamas arrests Army of Islam’s spokesman
27 June 2007 - Army of Islam reiterates threat to kill Johnston, increases its demands
25 June 2007 - Hamas urged to concentrate on negotiating with Alan Johnston’s kidnappers
20 June 2007 - As Alan Johnston spends 100th day as hostage, protests staged in Paris, London and Arab capitals
18 June 2007 - Army of Islam threatens to kill BBC correspondent Alan Johnston
1 June 2007 - Army of Islam releases video of Alan Johnston, calls for prisoner exchange
16 May 2007 - New appeal to Alan Johnston’s kidnappers on the eve of his 45th birthday
11 May 2007 - Demonstration in Paris to press for Alan Johnston’s release as he completes two months in captivity
9 May 2007 - Call for journalists not to be used as bargaining chips after Army of Islam claims BBC correspondent’s abduction
30 April 2007 - Government says it is negotiating with Johnston’s kidnappers
20 April 2007 - Forty days since BBC’s Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza
17 April 2007 - Journalists injured during Gaza demonstration in support of kidnapped British journalist
15 April 2007 - Deep concern about BBC correspondent’s fate after group claims it killed him
12 April 2007 - Rally in London in support of BBC correspondent as he begins second month in captivity in Gaza
2 April 2007 - Great concern over continued detention of British journalist
26 March 2007 - Leaders at Arab League summit urged to issue call for BBC correspondent’s release
21 March 2007 - Campaign for missing British journalist Alan Johnston
12 March 2007 - Call for immediate, massive response after second kidnapping of journalist in Gaza since start of year
Sign the petition on the BBC website