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Posts Tagged ‘Anton Lazarus Hammerl’

South African Journalist Anton Hammerl Killed in Libya

When the news came this week that four journalists, including The Atlantic‘s  Clare Morgana Gillis, were finally released from Libya after six weeks, the one name that remained unaccounted for was freelance photographer Anton Lazarus Hammerl.

Because the other reporters detained around the same time as he were safe, his family retained hope that he, too, would be coming back. But as The Atlantic is now reporting, the family received word that he was in fact shot and killed by government troops on April 5th. Only when his fellow journalists were released could they break the news.

“It all happened in a split second. We thought we were in the crossfire. But, eventually, we realized they were shooting at us. You could see and hear the bullets hitting the ground near us,” James Foley, one of the detained journalists, told GlobalPost. The four journalists were forced to flee on foot because the rebel forces had driven off without them. They were running from troops loyal to Gaddafi when Hammerl was shot in the abdomen and fell.

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Four Detained Journalists Finally Released By Libyan Government

Yesterday we learned that Clare Morgana Gillis, a freelance reporter writing for The Atlantic and USA Today, was finally released by the Libyan government after being detained since April 5, 2011. Also released were American GlobalPost reporter James Foley, Spanish photographer Manuel Brabo, and British freelance reporter Nigel Chandler.

Max Fisher at The Atlantic writes that the four journalists remain in Tripoli, but it is expected that they will be allowed to leave the country tomorrow. Gillis’s mother, Jane Gillis, said, “We’re ecstatic for her release and we are looking forward to seeing her.”

The four jounrlaists have been detained for what must have been an agonizingly long six weeks. According to Fisher:

They were held for about two weeks in a coed military detention center in Tripoli. Gillis was later moved to a women’s civilian prison in the capital. The three were later moved to another facility, where a foreign intermediary was last week allowed to visit and reported the journalists were comfortable and being well fed.

Unfortunately, the whereabouts of another journalist, freelance photographer Anton Lazarus Hammerl, remains unknown since he too was detained on April 5th. A spokesman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry earlier said that they believe that Hammerl is alive and in Libyan custody.