In late June 2022 the BBC broke a seven year long habit by finally mentioning the names Hisham al Sayed and Avera Mengistu:
The background to that was Hamas’ release of a video purporting to show Hisham al Sayed as part of its attempts to pressure Israel into releasing convicted terrorists in exchange for the two civilians who have been held captive by Hamas since 2014 and 2015 and the remains of two soldiers killed in 2014.
As noted here at the time:
“The BBC does not bother to inform readers how long Avera Mengistu has been held captive by Hamas or to explain in its own words how the holding hostage of two mentally challenged civilians without allowing communication with their families violates conventions.”
“Hamas on Monday published a video purportedly showing an Israeli man held captive by the terror group in the Gaza Strip — the first image of hostage Avera Mengistu since he was captured more than eight years ago.”
Notably, the BBC did not find the release of this video – or the ensuing silence of UN human rights officials – newsworthy.
In all the years that Avera Mengistu and Hisham al Sayed have been held hostage by the terrorist organisation Hamas, BBC audiences have never seen interviews with their families. Neither have they been given any information concerning the illegality of taking civilians prisoner and using captives for propaganda purposes or Hamas’ refusal to allow ICRC officials to visit the two Israeli hostages.