The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Arab American Journalists Urge release of Alan Johnston, BBC reporter kidnapped in Gaza Strip March 12

The National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA) expresses its distress at reports that Alan Johnston, a BBC journalist kidnapped in the Gaza Strip on March 12, may have been harmed or killed.

Conflicting news reports have been issued regarding his fate, quoting unknown groups on Internet web postings.

NAAJA members pray that Mr. Johnston is alive and unharmed, and the organization strongly condemns his kidnapping. NAAJA urges that Mr. Johnston be released immediately and that evidence of his condition be released immediately by the kidnappers.

Journalists should not be targets and should be granted protection by all sides in all conflicts and regions of the world.

"This is an outrageous, heinous act of terrorism, to declare that he has been killed. We are very concerned about Alan Johnston's fate. We also call on all responsible parties to undertake every possible effort to confirm his status and to apprehend and punish those individuals who are responsible for this kidnapping," said Ray Hanania, a NAAJA board member after consulting several NAAJA members across the country in an emergency conference call.

"We hope these reports prove to be false. And we hope that Mr. Johnston is released immediately, that he is unharmed and that the perpetrators are brought to justice for this crime. There is no injustice that justifies any victim of injustice to commit and act like this."

Hanania said NAAJA members are very distressed and concerned and are waiting to hear more news on the status of Mr. Johnston.

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