“It was like being buried alive really, removed from the world and occasionally terrifying…It became almost hard to imagine normal life again…The kidnappers seemed very comfortable and very secure in their operation — until a couple of weeks ago when it became clear that Hamas would be in charge of the security situation on their own here, and after that the kidnappers were much more nervous…It was appalling really…not to be able to report on the extraordinary turmoil, the events that I could hear going on, the fighting in the streets around the hideout, for days on end and I just knew the scale of things that were happening.  It’s the biggest story since I’ve been in Gaza, but I couldn’t utter a word.

— Alan Johnston, the BBC’s Gaza correspondent, who was freed yesterday after being held for 114 days following his kidnapping by the Army of Islam group, speaking about his ordeal.  On the day of his release Amnesty International honored Mr. Johnston with their radio award for his reporting on human rights in Gaza, where he has been reporting for the past three years.  

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