Report on Alan Johnston Vigil


There was a good turn out on this hot day and as BBC Brussels staff lined up holding portraits of Alan, the spokesman, Johnny Diamond gave an impassioned speech to remember him and a direct plea for his release.

Margot Wallstrom, vice-president of the commission said the EU would do all it could as did Leila Shahid, the Palestinian Authority's envoy to the EU.

Listen to our interview with Johnny Diamond (mp3) on the kidnapping and the difficulties facing journalists

Any "vigils" for Associated

Any "vigils" for Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, held for over a year now without charge by the U.S. military in Iraq, as opposed to
a BBC correspondent  being held by persons unknown for a month?

The Palestinians are being

The Palestinians are being blamed for this. But I think the track record of killers of people like Rachel Corrie and Tom Hundall indicate that maybe the wrong group is being blamed here. Is there any actual evidence that Palestinians took Mr. Johnson?

anon, there have been

anon, there have been protests calling for his release.

galapagus, the fact is that nobody knows who, or which faction of which group has Alan.

Isn't it astonishing that

Isn't it astonishing that every time Israel finds itself under international pressure to start negotiating seriously and substantively, some event happensd which allows it to draw back and claim it can't possibly negotiate with  terrorists. In the past, these events usually took the form of a suicide bomber; nowadays , what with the security wall and all that, there seems to be scope for greater inventiveness. Either the Palestinians are complete idiots or then things are perhaps not quite what they seem.

by intrestig to see what the

by intrestig to see what the real situation is!

it might not be

it might not be palestinians. for all we know an al quaeda offspring could be operating there now, perhaps veterans of iraq.

It's easy to make wild

It's easy to make wild claims about what might be happening, but this is of no use whatsoever.

"It's easy to make wild

"It's easy to make wild claims about what might be happening, but this is of no use whatsoever."

 Not unlike holding vigils then.

Not at all. The vigil is

Not at all. The vigil is keeping the story alive and is helping keep the pressure on trying to resolve the situation. For example, at this vigil there were very strong messages of support and commitment to action from the Vice President of the EU and the PA representative to the EU.

These are not just words but a public statement of a large amount of work going on behind the scenes.

This is likely to be more productive than making anonymous sneers on a website.

Is Blairwatch going to do a

Is Blairwatch going to do a daily update on the Downing Street memo trial which started today? Our government discussed bombing the HQ of al Jazeera in a friendly country. It is surprising BW hasn't posted on this topic today, considering all the good work done previously on publishing the memo, were it to come to light.

Am I Bovvered? A vigil for a

Am I Bovvered?

A vigil for a BBC journalist. Is this the same BBC that that religiously reported the number of unexploded cluster bombs in southern Lebanon in the last three days of the recent Israeli invasion? The same BBC that showed the death and destruction as it happened? The same BBC that sacked Andrew Gilligan for telling the truth? The same BBC that has got me watching Aljazeera to get real world news?


Am I bovvered?

Bernie1  -  fully take

Bernie1  -  fully take your point about the BBC qua institution, but I think you have to distinguish that from the individual journalists (some of whom are honest individuals).

By the way, disturbed to hear Alan J. described as a friend of the Palestinians  -  on the assumption that he's being held by you know who, that certainly won't help him.

" The vigil is keeping the

" The vigil is keeping the story alive and is helping keep the pressure on trying to resolve the situation."

 Pressure on who? The Palestinian Government are already onboard with wanting Johnston released. Unlike Bilal Hussein, Johnston is being held by
individuals unknown.

 "This is likely to be more productive than making anonymous sneers on a website."

 Doubtful.  The individuals holding Johnston probably note the absence of vigils for the thousands of Palestinians detained by Israel so this "weeping for whitey" is as likely to irk as mollify them, and as they are unlikely to /immediately/ comply with the misconcieved: "We would like to appeal today to whoever is holding [Alan Johnston] to release him today unharmed," they will have been psychologically put in the position of resolving to ignore the request.


I'm hoping they keep johnson

I'm hoping they keep johnson in Palestine, i was sick of his pro Arab whining, am more than happy to be rid of his voice over my mealtimes. Somehow i knew Israel would get the blame,Example today the bbc gave the news that hamas have ended their ceasefire,all due to the deaths of Palistinians at the weekend by the terrible jews, What they forgot to mention in their attempt at further Arab bias is that the Palestinians had been sending over rockets etc into Israel, This would be funny were it not so predictable and so bbc, After the report accusing the bbc of pro Arab reporting i'd have thought the expense of that cover up would teach them a lesson, but's we that paid not them.