On Wednesday, June 20, thousands of BBC staffers around the world fell silent at festivals, in conferences and on air to mark the 100th day of captivity for BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston.
Johnston, the only Western radio or television correspondent permanently based in Gaza, was kidnapped on March 12 shortly after leaving his office. In the ensuing weeks, at least two groups claimed to be holding Johnston; he is now believed to be held by Jaish al-Islam, which has released video footage of a captive Johnston.
British, Palestinian and United Nations officials have worked to achieve his release. Most recently, on June 18, a Hamas spokesperson said that force could be used to free Johnston.
For the moment of silence, BBC staffers stopped what they were doing at 2:15 British Summer Time. The pause was observed on air, during the BBC Trust meetings, on the set of the soap opera “EastEnders,” by staff at the Glastonbury music festival and by thousands of Johnston’s colleagues around the world.
During the two-minute pause, 100 white balloons were released in Johnston’s hometown in Scotland by his parents.
Coverage of Johnston’s captivity and the efforts to secure his release are available on the BBC News Web site: Alan Johnston Special Report.