Today is a day of action to persuade the misguided people who kidnapped Alan Johnston, the BBC’s respected correspondent in Gaza, to release him forthwith.

Mr Johnston’s work in reporting events in that sad and turbulent place has set standards that all journalists should strive to emulate.

We say this to his captors: You have nothing to gain and a great deal to lose for your cause by taking away the liberty of the man who has done so much for your people by simply telling the plain truth.

The longer you hold him, the more damage you do to yourselves and your nation by eroding the sympathy his objective and knowledgeable reporting has helped to instil in so many people around the world.

Look to your own honour and free this innocent man.

We urge everyone to visit the BBC website to add a message of support for Alan Johnston.

Photo: BBC