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BBC reporter Johnston gets human rights journalism award

world Updated: Jul 05, 2007 04:56 IST

AFP
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Alan Johnston, the BBC reporter who was released by his Gaza kidnappers, was honoured by Amnesty International with a prestigious award for human rights reporting.

Johnston, 45, was freed by the Army of Islam early yesterday after spending 114 days in captivity after being snatched from his car in Gaza.

His father Graham accepted the award on his behalf at a ceremony in central London. The Amnesty award aims to acknowledge contributions made by journalists to raising awareness and understanding of human rights issues.

"It's been quite a day," Graham Johnston said. "I know he will be highly honoured to have received this ... We are just so thankful that he's back."

Johnston was selected for the award before news of his release, and Amnesty's UK director Kate Allen said it was a "particular pleasure to be able to announce this award for Alan on the very day that the marvellous news of his release travelled the world."

"The standard of entries for this award was very high and the judges looked at each entry on its merits. They were determined not to allow Alan's kidnapping to sway them, but there was a firm consensus when it came to choosing him as the winner.

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