Update: Family And Friends Still Working to Free Journalists Detained in Libya
A few weeks ago, we highlighted the efforts to free James Foley, a freelance journalist who was captured by Libyan security forces. A correspondent for GlobalPost, Foley, 37, was among 4 journalists detained by Pro-Gaddafi forces on April 5. Foley has yet to be released, but efforts to free him are in full force.
Since we last brought you the story, nearly 35,000 people have signed the petition to call for his release. The Free Foley team even got the backing of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Two of Foley’s friends updated us on his current status and the efforts to release him.
After weeks of silence, Foley was finally able to call home on April 24. His friend Elizabeth Nielsen told is that it “was the first confirmation of his location and safety.” He was also allowed a visitor for the first time recently. On May 11, a GlobalPost spokesman said that he and fellow detainee Clare Gillis “were in good health and being treated well.”
Even though the Free Foley team is relieved that he is alive and well, his continued detainment is still worrying friends and family. Nielsen said,
“Turkey had been the remaining embassy the US was working through for these journalists release. News today came that Turkey has closed their Libyan embassy out of concern for safety. Attention has shifted away from Libya with royal wedding and then Bin Laden news. This along with the continued unrest in Libya, including the recent fatal bombings there, are huge causes for concern.”
The efforts to free Foley are in full swing. Nielsen notes that,
“The community rallying for Jim is really strong and creative. Numerous songs/poems/visual art have been created in his honor. There have been rallies on the east coast, west coast and in the midwest. In addition the online support is incredibly active.”
Thomas Durkin appreciates the efforts to release his friend:
“There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from around the world. This is the type of support the enables progress in this type of situation. If you have not done so already, please take the time to sign the petition requesting the release of Jim, Clare, Manu, and Anton. And, on behalf of the friends and families of Jim, Clare, Manu, and Anton, thank you. Thank you very much.”
James Foley and his colleagues are still being detained. Add your support to the campaign to Free Foley by signing the petition.