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The business of kidnapping

| 17:23 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2007


If you read Pete's post earlier, you'll know we were thinking about doing a whole programme today about kidnapping.

With the numerous examples from around the world (not least in Gaza where our colleague Alan Johnston is currently being held), we decided it was time to speak to people who have kidnapped, who have been kidnapped and who have ended kidnapping, to try and understand why it is happening more and more.

Please click here if you would like to sign the petition for Alan Johnston to be released.

You can read emails and text messages here, and of course post your own comments as well.

Simon Henderson is in the New York studio, he has picked up on the fact Ros mentioned Guantanamo in a discussion about kidnapping. Thomas sent this e-mail:

Although your guest from Washington D.C. had a different perspective, most US citizens find both Guantanimo and other hostage situations horrible. We do not support this behavior and the only reason it continues is the fear that our current administration is sowing.

Camilla and Gabriele, who have both been hostages, have an emotional exchange about their experiences. Gabriele finds it hard to believe Camilla can forgive the people who kept her captive.

Here are a selection of your texts:

Lubna, Iraq
We in Baghdad suffer from a problem which is (Brains kidnapping), many doctors and professors were kidnapped by unknown gangs and after their release, they left iraq immediately. Alan, come back safe, Inshalla.

Jason, Portland, Oregon
The kidnappers continue to kidnap because it gets results. stop dealing with them, and they will realize that this action no longer works.

Jemes from Malawi
l miss the voice of Alan & I want to encourage the BBC not to pay ransom to protect other bbc reporters.

Edward from Uganda
Kidnapping is ridiculous. In Africa especially Nigeria is ransom motivated.The middle east is prison exchange. Kidnapping, hostage will last as long as poverty and international politics continue dominating our daily lives and countries.

Why is the world not talking about the illegal arrest of the IRANIAN DIPLOMATS by BUSH SOLDIERS? rather you talk of IRAN arrest of BRITISH SOLDIERS.

Karo from Nigeria
If you hate Bush, kidnap him alone. If you hate Blair, kidnap him alone. If you hate Obasanjo, take him too. But not innocent persons as hostages.

One really can't see any point and purpose behind kidnapping a journalist. It will be only kind to set him free, and receive the God's blessing.

Abdalla subeit from Texas
Alan is impartial than anyone you can have? He has helped to put palestinians cause on headlines. Those holding him must know they are holding a friend not enemy.

Kidnappings shape a conflict, take it to another level by drawing international attention.

John from Nigeria
The niger-delta are a group of misled youths that do this to extort money from their foreign victims while the governors embezzle from the peoples purse.

Uwalaka from Nigeria
The human race perplexes me. Why is there no justice in the world? Hostage takers would forget it if their grievances were addressed.Let there be fairness,be it Nigeria,USA, Israel or Columbia.

If governments and some individuals kidnap for some reasons, what reason or reasons do those holding Alan Johnston have?

Isaac from Kampala
I wonder why you don't refer to the Iranians kidnapped in Iraq! I'm beginning to believe that GOOD is White and BAD is the rest of the colours - except JEWSH,of course. (And its not the People, but the Governments that perpetrate this selective abuse of the non-white societies). What wrong did we do to the world white regime to deserve such hate and contempt?

Uche from Nigeria
If the militia in the niger delta aren't greedy souls, i wonder why none of the paid ransom has ever been used to better the lives of the people being fought for.

David from Nigeria
Two wrongs don't make a right. The niger-delta people and everyone should employ dialogue. Its innocent people that are been kidnapped. It makes little sense to me

Domician from Tanzania
Kidnappings are a result of the failure of international system to give fair justice to all.

Henry from Nigeria
I have two words for all this madness: cheap popularity and greed.

Bawa in Ghana
Mr Johnston in 2005 i nominated you as the best reporter in from our correspondents.Your sweet memories still lingers in my mind. Am very certain, you will not be harmed.Your are so distinguished that they want you to spend some days with them so that they will know you better. Just take this as holidays. I promised to kill a fawl for my good friends the very day that you will be released. Miss you.


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