Federation of Journalists today demanded action to secure the immediate release
of two French journalists and their three Afghan assistants who have been held
hostage since their abduction six months ago and a Japanese journalist missing
for three months.
Hervé Ghesquière, and their three Afghan assistants, working for France 3, were
taken hostage in the Kapinsa region on 30th December 2009.
Japanese journalist, Kosuke Tsuneoka, who
went missing believed kidnapped on 31st March in the Taliban
controlled city of Kunduz,
has not been heard of for three months.
"It is an outrage that the Afghan
authorities have failed, after six months, to secure the release of these journalists
whose only interest is to inform the world of the reality of Afghanistan,"
said Aidan White, IFJ General
Secretary. "The suffering caused to these journalists and their families is intolerable
and must end today."
The hostage takers issued a video of the
captive journalists in April where the French journalists were forced to read
out statements that they would be executed unless the demands were met. Since
then there has been no further news.
The French Journalists' unions continue to
campaign for the release of their colleagues.
Patrick Kamenka, member of the Steering
Committee of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the regional body of
the IFJ, and representative of the French union SNJ-CGT called for the
mobilisation of the global journalists' profession to demand their safe return.
"This is primarily a tragedy for our
colleagues and their families, but also a threat to the work of all
professional journalists seeking to report and explain the causes of conflict,"
said Olivier Da Lage, IFJ Vice President and member of the SNJ.
The IFJ says that once again Journalists
have been targeted and made victims highlighting the increasing dangers they
face when reporting from conflict areas. Journalists' employers must do more to
ensure their journalists are fully prepared, trained and have all necessary
protection before venturing into conflict areas. Governments meanwhile are
obliged under Security Council Resolution 1738 to guarantee the safety of
journalists in conflict zones.
For more information, contact +221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide