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.


Related Stories:

Freeing James Foley, Freelance Journalist Imprisoned in Libya

Two Western Journalists Killed in Libya

Obama Commits to Protecting Freedom of Press Worldwide



Danielle Herie
Danielle Herie6 years ago


Brenda Gilbert
Brenda Gilbert6 years ago

It's so important to continue our support for independent journalists anywhere. This is a tiny bit of good news. I wonder what happened to the others who were imprisoned around the same time? 2 Americans, a South African and a Spaniard.

Greg G.
Greg G6 years ago

There hasn't been a general election in Libya in over 40 years, about as long as I've been alive. Khaddafi still uses the title of Colonel, which seems to suggest that he seized power during a military coup.

Now that he has jailed, tortured, held mock executions and killed many very talented journalists and photographers I have nothing but contempt for this power mad lunatic. These journalists are so brave and selfless to go into these war zones to get the facts we need to make informed decisions. They are dedicated to documenting/writing/filming all these events for the historical record even while being faced with the possibility of death or imprisonment.

Squelching journalism & free speech is one of the worst things any ruling party or leader could do. Khaddafi has chosen to live by the sword, & he will most likely die by the sword too.

Lindsey Williams
Lindsey Williams6 years ago

Petition signed...this is so sad. I really hope they can all go home soon...

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

I've already signed, and appreciate the update. Thanks to all who are working so hard to free these people!

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M6 years ago

Petition already signed. It is a small beginning allowing Foley to phone home and allowed a visitor, but he must be set free.
Thanks for up-dating this Katie.

Dan Holoman
Dan Holoman6 years ago

True journalist should have access to all area's of interest, except the bedrooms!

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m6 years ago

I signed the petiton at jump.
My God, It's hard to imagine being held prisoner anywhere, but I don't think it gets any worse than Libya right now.
What else can we as a global community do?
I wonder if those Navy Seals #6 are busy. They could solve this problem in a heartbeat!
Time once again to call the White House comment line.
HERE IT IS..#1-202-456-1111

And thank you for the update Katie.

Susanne R.
Susanne R6 years ago

Petition previously signed. Let's hope the journalists are safe and will soon be released.

Let's not forget that Gadaffi is a dictator who, according to Wikipedia, is guilty of "oppression of internal dissidence, acts of state-sponsored terrorism, assassinations of expatriate opposition leaders, and crass nepotism exhibited in amassing a multi-billion dollar fortune for himself and his family." He is also responsible for the assasination of 25 critics who were citizens of other countries. He has actively pursued the acquisition of nuclear bombs and has a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the form of chemical weapons, including mustard gas and precursor chemicals. His intentions are not good. They have to do with power and greed. The people of Libya want democracy, and the journalists are needed to spread the word of the plight of the Libyan people to those of us outside their borders. I applaud their bravery.

Jerry B.
Jerry B6 years ago

This should come as no surprise by taking the journalist. This is his strategy to stop the NATO from carrying out their boomings
,but you can not deal with the devil. He would just as soon shoot them! This is a hard way to make a living, and my hat is off to them. I hope they can free them from all this chaos and my heart goes out to them..God speed, and I also signed the petition!