PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY : Alan Johnston (m), British national, journalist Fear for safety

MDE 21/014/2007

Further Information on UA 81/07 (MDE 21/005/2007, 05 April 2007) and follow-ups (MDE 21/007/2007, 09 May 2007 ; MDE 21/008/2007, 1 June 2007 ; MDE 21/013/2007, 25 June 2007) -

04 July 2007

Alan Johnston was released on 4 July, following pressure from Hamas, and was handed over to Hamas officials.

He had been held as a hostage for 114 days in the Gaza Strip by a group calling itself the Army of Islam. Hostage-taking is a grave violation of international law and can never be justified.

Before his abduction, other foreigners and also Palestinians were abducted by the same armed group, but in all cases they were released unharmed within a few hours or days. Amnesty International and many others, locally and internationally, made repeated calls for his release.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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