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Alan Johnston's disappearance – text of email to staff from Mark Thompson, BBC Director-General


I thought you might like to see the email below which has been sent by Helen Boaden, Director, BBC News, to everyone in News. As we have said in our statement this morning, we are increasingly concerned for Alan's safety.

 

I know that, like me, many of you are keeping Alan and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Mark

 

Email sent by Helen Boaden to BBC News staff:

 

Today marks the first week of Alan Johnston's disappearance in Gaza. I'm sure, like me, you are all thinking of Alan and his family, and naturally we all hope that he will be released soon.

 

This morning Simon Wilson, the BBC's Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, issued the following statement on behalf of the BBC:

 

It has now been a week since our colleague Alan Johnston left this building and headed for his apartment in Gaza City. Although we have not been able to establish exactly what has happened to Alan, it seems certain that he has been abducted and is being held somewhere in the Gaza Strip.

 

As time passes, we are growing increasingly concerned about Alan's safety.

 

Over the past week, we have worked intensively with the authorities in Gaza and elsewhere to try to locate Alan and we continue to receive assurances that everything possible is being done.

 

However, it is disappointing that after seven days there has still been no firm word either about his whereabouts or his condition.

 

We call on everyone with influence on this situation to redouble their efforts now that Alan has been missing for more than one week.

 

Helen

 

PR2/BBC News Publicity

 

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Category: News
Date: 19.03.2007
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