Free Alan Johnston

Alan Johnston is a BBC news reporter who has been missing in Gaza since March 12.

A guy, simply doing his job, who appears by all accounts to have been snatched off the street, and as far as we know has been held captive ever since.

There has been no news to speak of over his plight, only claims that he remains alive, for now.

Yesterday marked the 100th day since he went missing.

His family, friends and colleagues along with thousands of strangers around the world marked the day with vigils, rallies.

And maybe even a prayer.

What his relatives and close friends must be going through, must be heartbreaking.

The thing his captors seem not to realise, is that there is a reason journalists have traditionally not been seen as targets in bloody conflicts across the ages.

It is because as the eyes of the world, they tell both sides of a story, educating the ill informed about why such struggles are happening.

Without them, who would care except those on the scrap of rock wet with blood?

In this new world of technology, where images and the spoken word can span the globe in an instant people like Alan are more important than ever to such factions.

Talks are clearly going on behind the scenes. What demands have been made for the return of Alan safe and sound, remain for now within that tight circle.

Reporters abroad, especially in conflicts, do take risks.

It is the nature of the job.

You risk being hit by a rifle butt, arrested, punched, kicked and whatever else goes on as chaos reigns supreme.

But you know the line, know when to stop.

So would an experienced journalist like Alan. He wouldn’t be stupid.

A guy doing his job. That’s all. Reporting from the front.

And given the chance, given back his freedom, what story might he have to tell now?



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