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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 March 2007, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Palestinian boycott over BBC man
Palestinian journalists stage a 24-hour strike on 20 March
Palestinian journalists in Gaza have already held two 24-hour strikes
Palestinian journalists are being urged to stop covering government activities following the apparent abduction of the BBC's Gaza reporter Alan Johnston.

A three-day boycott from Monday, called by the journalists' union, aims to press Palestinian authorities to do more to secure his release.

Mr Johnston, 44, disappeared 20 days ago in Gaza City, where he has lived and worked for the past three years.

Intensive international efforts are continuing to secure his safe return.

These include appeals from the Arab League and the European Union and non-government groups such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Frontiers.

Senior BBC colleagues of Mr Johnston have appealed to Palestinian leaders including President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.

Both have said everything possible is being done to free Mr Johnston.

Monday protest

However, the head of the Palestinian Journalists' Union, Naim Tubasi, told the BBC News website that the boycott was necessary as the Palestinian authorities were doing little to help secure the journalist's release.

If Alan Johnston is not returned after three days then we will continue - we must be successful
Naim Tubasi
Palestinian Journalists' Union

During the boycott, the union leader said no Palestinian media outlet would cover stories on the activities of the presidency or the new unity government.

Mr Tubasi said simultaneous demonstrations would also be staged at 1100 on Monday by Palestinian journalists and residents in Ramallah and Gaza City.

He said the protests would continue until Mr Johnston was freed.

"If Alan Johnston is not returned after three days, then we will continue. This is a battle for me, my union and the Palestinian people. We must be successful," he said.

Palestinian journalists in Gaza have already held two 24-hour strikes over Mr Johnston's kidnap and have set up a protest tent in Gaza City showing pictures of the reporter.

Mr Johnston went missing on his way home from work in Gaza on 12 March. His is widely believed to have been kidnapped, but no demands have been made public.

The BBC describes him as a highly experienced and respected reporter.

He joined the BBC World Service in 1991 and has spent eight of the last 16 years as a correspondent, including periods in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

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