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Posts Tagged ‘Anton Hammerl’

Finally, Good News for Detained Atlantic Journo

After 16 days of silence, the Atlantic reports that their freelancer, Clare Morgana Gillis, who was detained by the Libyan government, has spoken with her parents and is doing well.

In a 15-minute phone call yesterday, Gillis said she was being held in a women’s jail in Tripoli, but assured her parents she was in good health and hadn’t been mistreated. Her father, Robert, said he and his wife were “so relieved” to hear from their daughter, but were “still urgently appealing to the Libyan government to let her come home.”

Two other journalists were detained with Gillis: James Foley of GlobalPost and Spanish photographer Manuel Bravo. Gillis was separated from them in Tripoli. Their whereabouts are unknown. Another journalist, South African photographer Anton Hammerl, was thought to have been detained with the other three, but Gillis confirmed that he was not.

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Still No Word From Detained Journos

Today marks the sixth day since a group of journalists, including a freelance writer for the Atlantic, were detained in Libya, and the White House is now demanding their release.

We told you last week that Atlantic writer Clare Morgana Gillis and three of her traveling companions, James Foley, a freelance contributor to GlobalPost.com, Spanish photographer Manu Brabo, and South African photographer Anton Hammerl, were detained by the Libyan government while reporting on the country’s civil war.

The Atlantic is reporting that at yesterday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney called for their release. He said the White House was “very aware” of the situation and that the State Department was also involved in trying to get the journalists released.

Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman, echoed Carney, but acknowledged the department is “limited in what [it] can do in Libya right now, except to make public appeals, like I can do right now.”

Though Libyan officials are denying that they have the detained journalists, Atlantic editor James Bennet said that “at least three of the missing journalists have been seen in official detention.”

Meanwhile, Gillis’ father in Connecticut tells the Hartford Courant that he hasn’t heard from his daughter since he was told she’d been detained.  Even though he and his wife have been monitoring media reports, he said the hardships in getting information verified have been “very tension-producing.”

UPDATE: The Atlantic has confirmed that three of the journalists, Gillis, Foley, and Brabo, were seen at a detention center in Tripoli on Thursday, April 8. The magazine has not been able to confirm, however, that the South African photographer, Hammerl, was with them. Human Rights Watch initially concluded that all four had been detained together, but it now appears as though Hammerl’s disappearance is separate.

Atlantic Journo Detained in Libya

Clare Morgana Gillis, a writer for the Atlantic who has covered Libya extensively during the country’s civil war, has been detained by Qaddafi forces along with three other journalists.

Libyan rebels who witnessed the capture told the NYT that the journalists’ car was stopped at an intersection on Tuesday. They were taken into custody, their driver was let go, and the car was destroyed with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Traveling with Gillis were James Foley, a freelance contributor to GlobalPost.com, Spanish photographer Manu Brabo, and South African photographer Anton Hammerl.

According to the Atlantic, journalists captured in Libya in the past have been taken to Sirte, a Libyan city that houses several important government institutions, and eventually transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There, the Turkish embassy helps to negotiate the journalists’ release with the government of Libya. This was the case last month, when four NYT journalists were captured. They were released after six days.

Atlantic editor James Bennet said, “We appeal to the Libyan authorities for her immediate and safe release, and for that of the three other journalists detained with her.”

Read more here.

UPDATE: The four journalists are now believed to be in the possession of the Libyan government. Libyan officials and western journalists in the region believe they will be released.