Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Good news - Alan Johnston freed

BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been released :

The BBC reporter was handed over to officials of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

At the news conference, Mr Johnston thanked everyone who had worked towards his release.

He described his experience of captivity as "appalling" and "occasionally quite terrifying".

"It became quite hard to imagine normal life again," he said.

"The last 16 weeks have been the very worst of my life," he added. "I was in the hands of people who were dangerous and unpredictable."

"I literally dreamt many times of being free and always woke up back in that room."

Mr Johnston said he was not tortured during captivity but he did fall ill from the food he was served.

He added that he had been kept in four different locations, two of them only briefly.

He was able to see the sun in the first month but was then kept in a shuttered room until a week before his release, he said.

He was kept in chains for 24 hours but was not harmed physically until the last half hour of his captivity, when his captors hit him "a bit".

Hopefully he won't do an Yvonne Ridley and start talking crap .

Update : Realise I put Alan Johnson and not Alan Johnston in the title. I was under the impression it was the DL candidate and ex postie who had been kidnapped !!