|Taponier (left) and Ghesquière (AFP).|
The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the new demands made by a Taliban group that is holding captive two French television journalists, Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, translator Mohammed Reza, and the group’s driver. They were taken in Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul, in December.
…In a statement on one of their Web sites, the Taliban said they sent the Afghan government a list of detainees whose release they demanded in exchange for the French prisoners. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan submitted a list of very ordinary prisoners to the French government for release in exchange for the two French citizens and their Afghan colleagues. But the French government showed no interest, consideration or compassion for the release of its citizens. There is no other option.“If those involved in this issue do not show swiftness and urgency, then the life of the French will face danger,” said the Pashto-language statement, which was widely translated by Afghan and Pakistani news outlets.France Television, which owns France 3, had been withholding the identities of Ghesquière, 47, and Taponier, 46, explaining that it was doing so to protect their safety. After the release of the video, the France 3 Web site said, the families of the hostages gave permission for the release of names and photographs of the two French journalists.