The Washington Post

French journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier released after 547 days in captivity

This Nov. 18, 2010 file photo shows people holding portraits of French journalists who were recently released from 18 months in captivitiy in Afghanistan. (Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images)

Their captivity had become a social cause in France, and news of their release came just as supporters gathered downtown in protest of their detainment, France 24 reports.

While the news is great for the journalists, it’s tempered by the fact that there is no word about their local fixer and their local driver — whose names have been given only as Ghulam and Sattar.

In May, Steve Myers at Poynter wrote a post asking what responsibility news organizations have to the local hires. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented the deaths of 69 media helpers since 2003. The New Yorker’s George Packer told Myers, “They take enormous risks. And, I would add, all too often we don’t think enough of these risks. We don’t think about what it’s like to be there after we leave, and you have no one powerful protecting you and have no one advocating for you.”


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