Not since John McCarthy walked free in Beirut over 15 years ago has the world held its breath over the fate of a British journalist. Five months on, this is Alan Johnston's account of his days in captivity, a celebration of his journalism and a tribute to freedom.When Alan Johnston, the last western journalist who dared to remain in Gaza, was kidnapped by religious terrorists - millions of people, from the backstreets of Gaza to London, New York and Johannesburg, felt the need to express their anger and their determination to see him free. The captivity of Alan Johnston was a historical attack on the freedom of speech - and this collection of his dispatches is the long awaited and moving account of life in Gaza, his ordeal and his release.He talks of the room in which he was held, how he was stripped of his watch and could only tell the time by the passage of the sun and the five calls to prayer from mosques. His captors allowed him to see his parents' television appeal and he tells of the relief to see his father's 'powerful and dignified' address.
He evokes the psychological battle to keep control of his mind in these extreme conditions and his deeper sense of the value of freedom...
Alan Johnston, the BBC's Gaza correspondent, was kidnapped by a group known as The Army of Islam on March the 12th 2007. On July the 4th he was finally set free after 114-days in captivity. He has now returned to Scotland.