BBC BLOGS - The Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

One month on

Helen Boaden | 09:38 UK time, Thursday, 12 April 2007

Today marks a very sober moment for all of us in BBC News: exactly a month ago, our friend and colleague, Alan Johnston, disappeared in Gaza. We believe he was kidnapped and we feel growing concern for his well being.

Alan JohnstonSince that time, there have been tenacious and determined efforts by members of BBC News both in London and in the Middle East to try to achieve his release. Our colleagues in BBC Scotland have offered Alan’s family their practical support. There have been diligent and sustained efforts behind the scenes by representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and we have pressed our own contacts for all they are worth. It is a slow, difficult and frustrating process where rumour and speculation abound but there is almost no hard evidence about what has happened to Alan. However, we remain optimistic that he is safe.

We are extremely grateful for the support offered to Alan and his family and friends by journalists and News organisations around the world. There have been marches and rallies in support of Alan demanding his freedom. Every Monday at Television Centre and at Bush House, Alan’s colleagues come together to hold a short silence to demonstrate our solidarity with him. And in Gaza itself, Palestinian journalists have gone on strike to show their revulsion with what has happened and to demand action from the Palestinian Authority. They are also holding a round the clock vigil.

It is a measure of the man and his work that so many members of the public who have no direct connection with him, have also rallied to his cause. Prayers were said for Alan in many churches over the Easter weekend and over eight thousand people have signed our online petition asking for his immediate release.

Today, he will be in our thoughts as the hard work continues to secure his safe release.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.