Media firms in appeal to kidnappers

News media outlets across the globe are being called to take part in a massive demonstration that its organisers hope won’t actually be necessary.

But if Alan Johnston, the BBC’s Gaza correspondent, is not released by June 20 he would have spent 100 days captive – making him the longest held hostage in the Palestinian Territories.

Cause enough for 100 media outlets to rally together to demand the immediate release of the accomplished reporter, according to press freedom group Reporters Without Borders.

The Paris-based group says it will unveil the logos of 100 media outlets exactly 100 days after Johnston was abducted, in an international appeal to his kidnappers.

The colourful showing of the world’s media emblems will be unveiled on the lawn of the Champs-de-Mars, opposite the Eiffel Tower, on June 20, 2007.

Media professionals are invited to support the appeal, in person or by submitting their logo, to denounce the abduction of a journalist whose sole interest is reportage.

Fifteen other journalists, who have been kidnapped by multiple groups in Gaza and Iraq, should also be freed, the appeal will say.

News media firms that agree to support this appeal are asked to send their logos by email to Reporters Without Borders at by Friday, 15 June.

The logos should in Illustrator format or should be 300 dpi EPS files with a minimum size of 20 cm x 20 cm.

Each media outlet will be asked to support the following text:

“Free Alan Johnston a hostage in Gaza since 12 March 2007 and 14 other journalists kidnapped in Iraq.”

“We, the representatives of 100 news media throughout the world, appeal for the release of 15 journalists currently held by kidnappers in Iraq and Gaza. These men and women were just doing their jobs as journalists and are not guilty of any crime.”

Reporters Without Borders will also say: “We appeal to the kidnappers of Alan Johnston, Reem Zeid, Marwan Khazaal, Salah Jali al-Gharrawi, Mohammed Abderrahman, Bilal Abdelrahman Al-Obeidi, Samir Ali Saud, Akil Adnan Majid, Karim Sabri Sharar Al-Rubai, Ihab Mohammed, Talal Hashim Birkdar, Karim Manhal, Thamir Sabri, Sabah Salman and Salam Duhi Al-Sudani to free them quickly.”


14th June 2007

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