26 April 2007

Alan Johnston

Alan Johnston banner

I'm a bit slow with this as I've been away having a much-needed break, but while abroad I popped into an internet caff to check my mails and read the news. No surprise to hear Yeltsin finally pegged it (the Stoly clearly had preserved him well over the last decade), but I was also delighted to see the BBC are running a massive campaign to drum up support among other freelances to help secure Alan Johnston's release. (Blimey, that was a long sentence.)

So I'm adding my tuppenceworth.

I feel desperately sad for Alan and can't begin to imagine what he is going through. Or his loved ones.

I just hope that by tacking my name on to the campaign, I'll be helping a little bit.

I'm not religious but I'm sort of "praying" that whoever is holding him is going to do the decent thing and set him free. We do not need or want another John McCarthy (held for nearly 5 years just for doing his job).

My thoughts today are with all journalists working in difficult and dangerous situations. The death rate in our profession has been appallingly high in the last few years. The injury rate is way too high too. And kidnapping reporters is one of the shittiest things that can happen to you just for trying to bring the story out.

Chin up Alan, we're all rooting for you.

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