Alan Johnston was due to have returned to London at the end of March after three years as the only western journalist based inside the Gaza Strip. Only a couple of weeks before his scheduled departure, he was abducted at gunpoint and his whereabouts are still unknown. I know Alan personally. We worked together in the BBC World Service newsroom in London in the early 1990s. The reason I’m posting this is not just because he’s a former colleague, but because Alan’s abduction is a threat to truth.
Journalists need to be able to report what’s happening in the world without constantly being in fear for their lives. Alan lived in Gaza. Other correspondents based in Jerusalem used to visit on a regular basis. Now they rarely go. It’s too dangerous. And the lack of information about what’s going on in one of the most volatile places on earth makes the rest of the world more dangerous, too.
For the latest information about Alan, visit BBC Online.