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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid