Some of you may have noticed the badge I have in my sidebar relating to the kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston. A three year veteran of reporting the Palestinian side of the original Middle Eastern conflict, he was kidnapped by the very people he was reporting on in a sympathetic way. Now there is some good news. Hopefully it will be followed by even better news soon. The BBC reports;
The first video images have appeared of the BBC’s Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped two-and-a-half months ago.
It is the first sign that the BBC reporter is alive.
Mr Johnston says in the video that his captors have treated him well.
“First of all my captors have treated me very well,” he said.
“They’ve fed me well, there’s been no violence towards me, at all and I’m in good health.”
Mr Johnston is shown seated and wearing a red sweatshirt. He is also shown calling for an end to western sanction on the Palestinian Government.
He made a statement about the situation in Palestine.
“In three years here in the Palestinian territories, I’ve witnessed the huge suffering of the Palestinian people and my message is that their suffering is continuing and that it is unacceptable,” he said.
A Gaza-based group calling itself the Army of Islam has posted the video on an Islamist website.
The group has repeated its demand that the British Government free Muslim prisoners, in particular the radical cleric, Abu Qotada.
Mr Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza on March 12 and had not been heard from since.
Palestinian leaders have consistently said they have been working for Mr Johnston’s release.