Statement from National Geographic Society on Journalist Paul Salopek From National Geographic Magazine Editor in Chief Chris Johns

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from
 National Geographic Magazine Editor in Chief Chris Johns:
     I am overjoyed that Paul Salopek and his Chadian assistants will be
 freed, and I thank Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for it. This is also
 victory for freedom of the press. Paul is a sensitive and careful reporter
 and I look forward to more of his insightful writing in National Geographic
 magazine. I am grateful to Gov. Bill Richardson and Ambassador Khidir
 Ahmed. Both have worked tirelessly with National Geographic and the Chicago
 Tribune to secure Paul's release. In a telephone conversation this evening
 Paul told me he's concerned about the safe return home of his Chadian
 interpreter and driver -- Suleiman Abakar Moussa and Idriss Abdulraham Anu
 -- who are scheduled to be released with him in El Fasher Saturday. I
 assured him that I and the National Geographic Society will take
 responsibility for getting them home safely.
     Chris Johns is in Khartoum, Sudan, with Governor Richardson's

SOURCE National Geographic Society

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