News / Middle East

Media Watchdog Critical of France’s Handling of Journalists’ Abduction

Multimedia

Audio
  • Jean-François Julliard, General Secretary of Reporters Without Borders

The internationally known media rights group Reporters Without Borders has marked the first anniversary of the abduction of two French journalists in Afghanistan. VOA’s Steve Norman spoke about the case with the general secretary of the Paris-based organization, Jean-François Julliard.

Listen to the entire interview with Jean-François Julliard:


According to Julliard, to this day not much is known about the capture and current whereabouts of Herve Ghesquiere and Stephane Taponier, both of France-3 TV. What is known is that they were working on a report on how members of the French military were assisting the local Afghan population with infrastructure projects when they were taken by Taliban insurgents. Today, he says, their case has become one of the longest detentions of French journalists.

Jean Francois Julliard, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, is questioning the efficacy of the French government's efforts to secure the release of two French journalists captured in Afghanistan
Jean Francois Julliard, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, is questioning the efficacy of the French government's efforts to secure the release of two French journalists captured in Afghanistan

Julliard says that little is known about the Taliban’s demands other than there having been talk of money and the release of fighters currently held in Afghanistan. To his knowledge, however, the journalists, who were captured together with three of their Afghan colleagues, are still alive. Proof thereof seems to be contained in several videos the Taliban released showing the captives pleading with the French government and their families to help secure their freedom.

Encouraged by apparent evidence that the two reporters are still alive, Julliard does question what the French government has done or failed to do to secure their release. He says his organization does not understand why efforts are taking so long, why negotiations seem to be at a standstill and why French authorities are not doing more. For him, the entire case has raised many questions because of the way it is being handled.

“We had a big debate about how French authorities and especially Nicolas Sarkozi himself handled this case, because during the first weeks of the detention of Herve and Stephane, President Sarkozi was very critical of them, their work and the reasons [as to] why they were in Afghanistan, saying that they took too many risks and that they did not have to do this report.”

The entire matter, says Julliard, has turned into a confrontation between President Sarkozi and French journalists.

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has said in a statement that securing freedom for the France-3 TV journalists and six other French hostages around the world - is an "absolute priority" for the government. Earlier this month, French officials have also said they believed progress is being made in securing the journalists' release.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid