alan johnston on tape

Posted on June 1, 2007

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At the very least, we can say that abducted BBC reporter Alan Johnston is probably still alive.

His kidnappers, the Army of Islam, have released online a videotape of the Gaza-based reporter, who went missing in early March.

Claiming to be in good health and that his kidnappers have been treating him well, Johnston was dressed reminiscent of the detainees of Guantanamo Bay in a bright orange shirt, looking thin.

More distressingly, Johnson was most likely compelled to make the case for the plight of the Palestinians, condemn the war in Iraq, and denounce the situation in Afganistan.

And in what’s sure to cause deeper anguish for his family, Johnston started to address his family on tape but was cut off.

The British government was united in their condemnation of Johnston’s abduction, calling for his immediate release while adding that his captivity doesn’t help the Palestinian cause.

His kidnappers had demanded the release of Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-born Islamic cleric suspected of having close ties to al-Qaeda and is under the UK government’s detention as a threat to national security.

The BBC said that it was not ascertained when the video was made and what kind of conditions Johnston was in.

For now, let’s hope he is still alive and well, with the right channels working hard to ensure he is freed at the soonest.

See the Alan Johnston video here.

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