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European Union (EU)
4 July 2007
European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering welcomes release of BBC Correspondent Alan Johnston in the Gaza Strip
- 04-07-2007 - 13:49
he President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has welcomed the news of the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston after almost four months in captivity in the Gaza Strip.
"This is wonderful news and a tremendous relief for Alan Johnston, his family, friends and colleagues who have worked tirelessly throughout this ordeal to bring about today's happy outcome.
Great credit is due to all of these people for their commitment and stamina and for never giving up hope. Beyond the human anguish of Alan Johnston's kidnapping, his case became a potent reminder of journalists worldwide working in difficult conditions, often risking their lives, to bring us objective, independent reporting."
Hans-Gert Pöttering repeatedly called for the release of Alan Johnston. During his recent visit to the Middle East, he raised the case of Alan Johnston in meetings with his Palestinian interlocutors and called for his release - as well as for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldiers and of imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Palestinian politicians - in his speech before the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset.