Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has condemned the 14 August 2005 kidnapping of France 3 television crew soundman Mohamed Ouathi by three gunmen in Gaza and urged the Palestinian authorities to do everything possible to ensure that he is quickly released.
“We call for Mohamed Ouathi’s immediate and unconditional release and we ask the Palestinian authorities to react quickly so that he is freed as soon as possible,” the organisation said.
“The fact that his abductors did not have their faces covered shows that a degree of impunity and laxity prevails in Gaza.”
Ouathi and the three other members of the French television station’s crew - Gwenaëlle Lenoir, Michel Anglade and Franck Pairaud - were returning to their hotel when they were intercepted by three gunmen. The other crew members were able to escape but Ouathi was taken away at gunpoint.
In a statement carried by Agence France-Presse (AFP), France 3 condemned Ouathi’s abduction as a “violation of press freedom” and called for his “immediate release.”
The station said it had alerted the French and Palestinian authorities and called on the latter to do everything necessary to protect its crews working in the Gaza Strip.