Alan Johnston: letter from father Graham
The BBC held a press conference today in London to highlight the plight of Alan Johnston, its Gaza correspondent who was abducted on 12 March.
Alan's parents, Graham and Margaret Johnston, and BBC Director of News, Helen Boaden, hosted the conference as part of the BBC's day of action for Alan.
Alan's father Graham Johnston read out a letter to Alan. The text follows...
"Hello Old Son,
"I don't know if you will see this but I just felt that I wanted you to
know how distressed and sorry we all are that you were taken.
"You had warned us frequently that the chances were always there that you
would be kidnapped and we were prepared in a way for this to happen.
Nevertheless when it came it, was still a considerable shock.
"Now you have not to worry about us. Your Mum and Trini and I are hanging
in there and trying to keep a stiff upper lip. The support we have had
from your friends and colleagues at home and abroad has been phenomenal,
especially the BBC who have cosseted us and to whom our profuse thanks
must go for keeping us abreast of the situation.
"There are so many people worldwide all hoping and praying for your
release, not least of which I am sure, are the vast majority of the
Palestinian population, many of whom have told us they are ashamed that
you were kidnapped. We know how much you enjoyed your work there.
"Your fellow local journalists are doing a magnificent job holding
demonstrations calling for your early release. There is so much sympathy
for your plight around the globe and we are overwhelmed at such support,
all of which helps to buoy us up during the past seemingly interminable
"I would like to say something to those who are holding you. You have
families. Please think about what this is doing to my family, including
in particular the distress and deep deep concern Alan's mother and sister
have had to endure for all these long weeks. As I have said before -
please - let my son go, NOW, TODAY!
"Alan, all our heartfelt, warmest fondest love is sent to you from all
your family and in the fervent hope that you will be released unharmed.
"Chin up my Son,
"Trini, Raymond, Alastair and, as always, your ever-loving Mum and Dad"
Notes to Editors
Trini is Alan Johnston's sister; Raymond is Trini's husband; and Alastair is the brother of Alan's mother.
BBC Press Office