National Press Club

Club hails release of journalist hostages

June 30, 2011 | By John Donnelly |

The National Press Club applauded the release of two French television journalists and an interpreter who had been kidnapped and detained by the Taliban in Afghanistan for more than 18 months.

Those kidnapped included two reporters, Herve Guesquiere and Stephane Taponier of France 3 Television, and their interpreter, Reza Din. There was no news of two assistants who accompanied them when they were taken in December 2009. Their release was confirmed Wednesday by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"We are relieved and share the joy of their families," said National Press Club President Mark Hamrick, a broadcast journalist with the Associated Press. "But we cannot help thinking about the two other media workers who accompanied them. We reiterate our support for them and for every reporter around the world who faces unacceptable risks."

The National Press Club, based in Washington, D.C., is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. The Club represents more than 3,200 members worldwide representing every major news organization. The Club was founded in 1908.