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Free Alan Johnston, Toronto journalists say

This Magazine Staff

Alan Johnston Toronto rally

On Thursday afternoon, I attended a rally outside the CBC building in Toronto in support of the BBC’s Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston, who has been held by a militant group in the region since they abducted him some 62 days ago.

A few CBC personalities and other journalists said a few words each to the lunchtime crowd of about 250 media workers, and their message was simple: No journalist should be placed in danger and prevented from doing the important work of freely telling stories. In Johnston’s case, the problem is acute because he is one of the only journalists getting news from the Palestinian people out to the West.

The cries for Johnston’s freedom cut across political lines; one of the speakers at the Toronto event noted that there were simultaneous “Free Alan” rallies by Palestinian and Israeli journalists on either side of the wall in Jerusalem recently.

I signed a petition calling for Johnston’s immediate release, and you can too.

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