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Alan Johnston Freed By Kidnappers

Alan Johnston; who was kidnapped almost four months ago, has been released by his captors:

He was received by Ismail Haniya, a Hamas leader in Gaza. The group had vowed to spare no effort to free him.

Rallies worldwide had called for Mr Johnston’s release. An online petition was signed by some 200,000 people.

The BBC reporter was handed over to officials of the Hamas administration in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

I’m extremely happy with this turn of events. Let’s hope that Mr. Johnston will continue to provide us with insightful journalism. However, I’m just grateful to see him returning to his family.

Free Alan Johnston

Alan Johnston is one of my favourite BBC correspondents. He’s covering one of the most volatile locations on the planet; Gaza.

Mr Johnston has been missing for a month now, presumably abducted by Palestinian militants. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea why. The BBC’s coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of the most balanced in the world. Events are reported as is. Analysis and opinions from both sides of the conflict are given fair broadcast coverage.

I’m very much against the practise of abductions of non-partisan parties in any conflict, especially when journalists are the target. These people are making a living reporting news. They are merely professionals who are working in a rough environment which they’re not responsible in creating.

It’s events like this that makes the world automatically label Palestinians and Arabs in general as terrorist thugs. It may not be true in all instances, but it’s hard to draw a line linking the conclusions when events such as this seem to be verifications of the statement.

You can leave a message of support for Alan Johnston here.

I hope that whoever who had kidnapped Mr Johnston will find it in their hearts to release an innocent man. I pray that Alan Johston is well and hope that he will be reunited with his family and friends soon.