Ian Power, in Birmingham.
Delegates at the National Union of Journalists ADM were asked to support the quest for the release of captured BBC journalist Alan Johnston. Alan was kidnapped by Palestinian rebels 33 days ago in Gaza while reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for the BBC.
Speaking during a special motion, President of the International Federation of Journalists Aidan White told delegates that “during this moment of crisis we must mobilise support from journalists around the world to ensure Alan’s safe return”.
Also addressing the conference on Alan’s plight was BBC World News Editor, John Williams. Mr Williams told delegates that the freedom to report had “never been under greater threat than today”. He commended Alan for “having shown real courage over the last three years reporting in Gaza” and said he had no doubt he has shown that courage over the past four weeks.
However Mr Williams detailed his concern at the physical and mental toll Alan’s incarceration must be having on him. “Journalism does matter, and it’s thanks to people like Alan Johnston that it will continue to do so” he concluded.