National Press Club

Members urged to support BBC journalist Alan Johnston

June 6, 2007

National Press Club President Jerry Zremski today urged Club members to sign an online petition calling for the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was seized on the Gaza Strip on March 12 and has not been seen since.

The online petition can be found here.

"Alan Johnston is a journalist of great courage who lived in Gaza for three years, telling the story of the Palestinian people," Zremski said. "I am hoping our members will show their support for him by joining the thousands who have already signed this petition." The petition states:

We, the undersigned, demand the immediate release of BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston. We ask that everyone with influence on this situation increase their efforts to ensure that Alan is freed quickly and unharmed.

The Club hosted a vigil, sponsored by the BBC, in honor of Johnston on June 4, where Johnston's colleagues called for his release.

"Alan is a friend of Gaza," said Andrew Steele, the BBC's Washington bureau chief. "No one in the West knows it better. The people who are holding Alan are gaining nothing."