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UN Rights Expert Calls for BBC Journalist's Release - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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GENEVA (AFP) – A UN human rights expert on Wednesday appealed for the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped by Palestinian extremists in the Gaza Strip in March.

Ambeyi Ligabo, the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, said in a statement that Johnston was “much appreciated for his objective reporting and his sympathetic approach to human suffering.”

“I call for his immediate and peaceful release so that he can return to his family and colleagues without going through any additional suffering.”

“The role of the media in publicly denouncing violence and conflict is essential in promoting human rights worldwide,” he added, insisting that the safety of journalists was “indispensable.”

Johnston was the only Western reporter still based permanently in the Gaza Strip when he was seized at gunpoint on March 12.

The Palestinian group claiming to hold Johnston on Tuesday threatened to kill their hostage “like a lamb” unless Britain and Jordan release Muslim prisoners.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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