France marks anniversary of reporters' Afghanistan abduction

29th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The faces of two French journalists held hostage in Afghanistan were projected onto the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Wednesday as media rights campaigners marked the first anniversary of their abduction.

"Free Stephane and Herve and their three colleagues," read the slogan on the Paris landmark beneath the faces of the reporter Stephane Taponier and cameraman Herve Ghesquiere.

The journalists, who work for France 3 television, were seized along with three Afghan colleagues a year ago in an area northeast of Kabul rife with anti-government insurgents.

Their photos were printed Wednesday on the front pages of French national newspapers and their captivity was the lead story in many television and radio news broadcasts here.

The eye-catching stunt at Arc de Triomphe was organised by Paris-based media rights campaigners Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

"By projecting their faces on to the Arc de Triomphe, we want to remind the French authorities that the promises of a forthcoming liberation are not enough," it said in a statement.

"President Nicolas Sarkozy must make their fate a national priority," it said.

Last week France 3 television revealed that the latest video of the two men, which had been shot around mid-November, had been released to French authorities.

The foreign ministry confirmed its authenticity but gave no further details.

© 2010 AFP

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