UPDATE: Sadly, the family of photojournalist Anton Hammerl has confirmed news that he died on April 5. Read more about what happened here.
Wonderful news! Four foreign journalists who had been detained by the Libyan government for six weeks have been released and moved to a hotel in Tripoli. James Foley and Clare Gillis, American reporters, and Manu Brabo, a Spanish photographer, will be returning home soon.
On Tuesday, the Libyan government said that it had given them a one-year suspended sentence on charges of entering the country illegally. The journalists are reported to be in good health.
Al-Jazeera also reports that Tunisian journalist Lutfi Ben-Qasim was also released. An Agence France Presse journalist said that he had witnessed the arrival of Brabo, Foley, Ben-Qasim and Chandler at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, which is housing foreign journalists reporting from Tripoli.
There was tremendous effort from people around the world demanding the release of these innocent journalists. Friends of James Foley set up a petition and nearly 35,000 concerned people signed, expressing their thoughts and prayers.
James’ parents signed the petition and wrote “Jim is our oldest wonderful son. He was doing exactly what he always wanted to be doing when he was captured. His enthusiasm and dedication to conflict reporting and giving voice to the unheard has been amazingly courageous. We beg you to work for Jim and his 3 companions’ earliest release. May God bless you for your efforts.”
Unfortunately, there is still no word about photojournalist Anton Hammerl, who has South African and Austrian citizenship and disappeared around the same time as the other journalists.
TAKE ACTION: Please continue to take action and call for Anton Hammerl’s release.
Thank you to all the Care2 members who signed this petition and helped free these journalists!
Related Care2 Coverage
Photo of James Foley from freefoley.org, used with permission