Captured BBC News Correspondent Alan Johnston: Gathering in Washington DC to Call for His Release

Jun 01, 2007, 01:00 ET from BBC

    WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The BBC's Gaza
 Correspondent, Alan Johnston, was abducted at gunpoint in Gaza City on
 March 12. Today a video message appeared on the internet, in which Alan
 says he is in good health and being treated well by his captors.
     To mark the thirteenth week of his captivity, the BBC is organising an
 event at Washington DC's National Press Club on Monday, June 4,
 2.45pm-3.30pm. It will be broadcast live by satellite on BBC World with
 access available to all other networks. There will be a moment's silence
 for Alan along with comments from four speakers:
     The BBC's Washington bureau chief, Andrew Steele, previously the BBC's
 Middle East bureau chief, knows Alan very well and appointed him to the
 Gaza correspondent position.
     Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni was held hostage in Gaza in
 August 2006 and speaks from personal experience about what it's like to be
 captured there.
     Ziad Asali, the President of the American Task Force on Palestine,
 explains the deep concern and outrage over the abduction expressed by
 journalists within the Palestinian territories.
     Frank Smyth, held captive in Abu Ghraib during the Saddam Hussein era,
 is now the Journalists Security Coordinator of the Committee to Protect
 Journalists. Not only can he give personal testimony, but he also
 understands the enormous challenges facing journalists throughout the
     Alan spent three years living and working in Gaza -- the only western
 journalist to do so -- and was within two weeks of completing his
 assignment there. He is now the longest held journalist in Gaza, previous
 journalists have been released after a number of days or weeks.
     If you would like to attend, please email with
 name, title and company/organisation.