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French former hostage ready to go back to the front line

(CPJ/IFEX) - 25 April 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Jean-Paul Marthoz/CPJ Senior Adviser

"Of course you have to go to Afghanistan or to Syria," said French TV reporter Hervé Ghesquière, who was held hostage for 547 days in Afghanistan together with his cameraman, Stéphane Taponier, between December 2010 and June 2011.

However, he does not hesitate one micro-second when asked whether journalists should take risks to get the story. "I am not suicidal," he said, "but if you are a journalist, you have to go. The 'zero risk' does not exist. The real question is how you can properly assess the dangers that you will inevitably have to confront."

In the months since his release, Hervé Ghesquière, a seasoned reporter for the French public TV channel France 3 and a veteran of many wars, has been drawing and sharing the lessons from his abduction and captivity. On Monday, he was a keynote speaker at a conference organized at the Louvain-la-Neuve University (UCL) by Les Voies de la Liberté, an association promoting freedom of expression and human rights on the campus, and a guest of the University Radio.

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