Friday 24 December 2010

Hopes for release of kidnapped French reporters

On December 29, 2009, Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière, two reporters with the French public service TV channel France 3, and their three Afghan assistants, were taken hostage in Afghanistan.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says: "One year later, a sense of cautious optimism seems to prevail in Paris. On December 20, French authorities announced that they had received a video showing the hostages "in good health" although "they appear weakened by the detention." According to Paul Nahon, director of France 3, the video--which was not publicly broadcast--was shot "around November 20."

The director of France Télévisions, Remy Pflimlin, expressed "cautious optimism," insisting that the video proves that "negotiations led by state services on the ground and with very important means are continuing."

Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie emphasized the efforts of the Afghan government and declared her hope that its initiatives, among others, will lead to "the prompt liberation of the hostages."

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