June 29, 2001
The Afghanistan Journalists Center is delighted to learn about today’s release of French journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their Afghan interpreter Reza, who were abducted by a Taliban group on 29 December 2009 in the northeastern province of Kapisa while doing a report for the French TV station France 3.
They are now at a French base in north-eastern Afghanistan.
Expressing delight, French President Nicloas Sarkozy thanked Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his handling of the hostage situation.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon had earlier told the French parliament the freed Frenchmen were at the Tagab base in Kapisa province.
They were "in good health" and would be back on French soil "in a few hours", he said.
Details of how the journalists were freed are not clear.
Afghanistan, despite seeing considerable achievements in the field of freedom of expression and a booming media, continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media personal and Afghan journalists pay a high price for working with foreign media.