UN rights expert urges immediate release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston

27 June 2007

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called for the immediate release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who was abducted in Gaza City on 12 March.

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called for the immediate release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who was abducted in Gaza City on 12 March.

“Mr. Johnston, who works for the British Broadcasting Corporation, is a distinguished journalist, much appreciated for his objective reporting and his sympathetic approach to human suffering,” Ambeyi Ligabo, the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the freedom of opinion and expression, said in a statement released in Geneva today.

“I call for his immediate and peaceful release so that he can return to his family and colleagues without going through any additional suffering.”

The expert said Mr. Johnston’s prolonged abduction “is a worrying reminder of the precarious work conditions of journalists in conflict areas.”

He emphasized that the safety of journalists is indispensable for the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression. “The role of the media in publicly denouncing violence and conflict is essential in promoting human rights worldwide.”

 

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