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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Palestinian website for BBC man
Alan Johnston
Alan Johnston has been held captive for almost six weeks
Two Palestinians in Gaza have launched a website calling for the release of missing BBC reporter Alan Johnston.

The website free-alan.com includes a brief biography of Mr Johnston and messages in Arabic and English calling on his captors to let him go.

Alan Johnston, 44, has not been seen since he was seized at gunpoint on his way home in Gaza City on 12 March.

On Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on a visit to Athens, insisted that Mr Johnston was alive.

"I have said he is alive and we are making efforts to get him released," Mr Abbas said after meeting Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

Increasing pressure

On Friday, the media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders called on Mr Abbas to do more to secure Mr Johnston's release.

In the past Mr Abbas has said that he knows who is holding Mr Johnston, but has not said whether any contact has been made with the captors.

An unknown militant group said last Sunday that it had killed the correspondent, who has been working in the Gaza Strip for the past three years, but both the BBC and Palestinian officials have said they have been unable to verify the claim.

Protests against Mr Johnston's kidnap have been held in Britain, the Palestinian territories and other parts of the Middle East almost daily since his abduction.

One of the messages on the free-alan website reads: "Alan you need to know that those who kidnapped you do not represent the Palestinians."

Mr Johnston is the only Western journalist still permanently based in Gaza and had been due to finish his assignment there at the end of March.


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