Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alan Johnston free

BBC journalist Alan Johnston was released earlier today. He was kidnapped in Gaza City on March 12th , by a group called Army of Islam. During the last days preasure has been stepped up, and just two days ago several arrests of people close to the Army of Islam was made. It seems the de facto Hamas takeover of Gaza has changed the security dynamics and that might have made the difference in this case.

I´m truly happy about Alan´s release, he´s one of the best reporters ever to have reported from the region, and he was the only western journalist to live there permanently at this point in time, to kidnap him was to rob the Gazans from getting the true story out on how bad the situation really is there in the most eloquent way possible. He´s reporting really has substantial impact.

More than 200 000 people have signed the petition to release him, and i thank everyone who has helped in whatever way during these almost four months. This is a big day for Alan, his family and the BBC.

A very good place to go for further news, insight and analysis is one of my new must read blogs, Charles Levinson´s Conflict Blotter. You can find he´s first thoughts on the release here

He also made some good reporting on the family, who´s is said to be the leaders of Army of Islam, and provided a translation of an interview with Mumtaz Dagmoush for a salafi magazine .

A timeline of his 114 days in captivity can be found here

I´m sorry for the inconvenience with the BBC links above, i ´ve been trying to keep up with the BBC all day, but some how i think they have an extremely hectic day, as well as one of the best days, so if my links dosen´t work properly i can live with that, and in the end everything will work out as planned, and in the meantime we should just enjoy Alan´s release. Please bear with me, dear readers.

This will be cross posted on Diwan of Democracy


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