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Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

University Professor Recalls a ‘Fearless’ James Foley

JamesFoleyPicIn between Libya and Syria, journalist James Foley spoke in February 2012 at San Diego State University. His February 9 talk with students was part of the series “Understanding the Arab Spring.”

In the wake of Foley’s apparent, horrific execution at the hands of ISIS, SDSU economics professor Hisham Foad has shared with News 10 San Diego reporter Rachel Bianco some memories of this intrepid truth-seeker:

“The story he was telling was like a movie,” Foad recalled. “It was better than a movie almost, going out there, getting captured, his life in captivity.”

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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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Oscar-Nominated Journalist Killed in Libya, Another in Grave Condition

Update: Reports indicate that photographer Tim Hetherington has been killed in Libya, and photographer Chris Hondros is in grave condition.

We previously wrote that both had been killed, but official reports only indicate that Hetherington was killed.

The two were covering the fighting in Misrata. Hetherington was nominated for a Oscar this year for the documentary Restrepo, and Hondros is a Pulitzer Prize nominated war photographer.

Yesterday Hetherington tweeted, “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

The tragic news was first posted on fellow photographer Andre Liohn‘s Facebook page. Liohn is reportedly at the hospital, and wrote: “Sad news Tim Hetherington died in Misrata now when covering the front line. Chris Hondros is in a serious status. Michel Brown and Guy are wounded but fine.”

He later updated his status in the comments to say that Hondros had died, however official reports indicate that he is alive but in grave condition.

New York Times Journalists Recall Horror of Captivity In Libya In Their Own Words

Accounts have already emerged detailing the six days during which four New York Times journalists were held captive in Libya. But now the Times has posted the first piece entirely in the journalists’ own words.

Anthony Shadid, Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario, and Stephen Farrell describe their ordeal, and while much of their piece recounts fear (“God, I just don’t want to be raped,” Addario whispers to Farrell at one point), a greater part of it is devoted to guilt, not only for their friends and family who they knew were terrified on their behalf, but for their missing driver Mohammed:

From the pickup, Lynsey saw a body outstretched next to our car, one arm outstretched. We still don’t know whether that was Mohammed… If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for.

The article is also noticeable for the humanity it attempts to see even in the Pro-Qaddafi forces that held them captive.

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Released New York Times Journalists Recount Harrowing Ordeal in Libya

The four New York Times journalists who were missing in Libya for six days before being released Monday have disclosed the details of their captivity, including the physical assault they suffered.

The journalists are Times’s Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, two photographers, Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario, and a reporter and videographer, Stephen Farrell.

The four had been covering fighting near Ajdabiya last Tuesday when their driver inadvertently drove into a checkpoint manned by Pro-Qaddafi forces.

“I heard in Arabic, ‘Shoot them,’ ” Mr. Shadid said. “And we all thought it was over.”

Then another soldier spoke up. “One of the others said: ‘No, they’re American. We can’t shoot them,’ ” Mr. Hicks said.

The first night they spent in the back of a vehicle. The second night they spent in a jail cell with dirty mattresses on the ground. Lynsey Addario also said that over that forty-eight hour period, “there was a lot of groping. Every man who came in contact with us basically felt every inch of my body short of what was under my clothes.” Another captor stroked Addario’s head at one point while repeatedly saying: ‘You’re going to die tonight. You’re going to die tonight.”

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Foreign Journalists Reportedly Being Used As Human Shields By Pro-Qaddafi Forces

Earlier today we reported the good news that the four New York Times journalists who were captured in Libya were released into safety, complete with a photo of them taken in the haven of the Turkish embassy.

But the good news didn’t last long. At least 13 other journalists are still missing in Libya, including reporters from Agence France Presse and Al Jazeera. To make matters more severe, Fox News is reporting that Qaddafi‘s regime brought reporters from Reuters and CNN to his compound in Tripoli Sunday night “to effectively use them as human shields.”

After British forces fired two missiles at the compound, the Libyan Ministry of Information went to the hotel where most of the journalists were staying and asked them to come and see the damage, purportedly to show them that Qaddafi and his compound had been targeted, although no one was seriously harmed in the missile attack. Some of the journalists obliged.

However, Jennifer Griffin at Fox News reports that the real purpose behind the invitation was actually to use these journalists to prevent further attack on the compound. Indeed, British forces confirmed to Fox News that they were set to strike the compound again, but the mission was cut short when they learned of the presence of foreign journalists in the area.

CNN video on the attack after the jump. Read more

New York Times’ Internal Memo Reveals Further Details About the Release of the Four Journalists Captured In Libya

Following this morning’s announcement that the four New York Times journalists captured in Libya for six days were being released, Times’ executive editor Bill Keller came out with an internal memo with further details of their story:

Because of the volatile situation in Libya, we’ve kept our enthusiasm and comments in check until they were out of the country, but now feels like a moment for celebration. And before long we’ll all know the details of their experience.

Keller identified David McCraw, the Times‘ assistant general counsel, and Chris Chivers, a writer for the TimesAt War blog, as being instrumental in the release of the four journalists.

Keller also added that “this is a reminder that real, boots-on-the-ground journalism is hard and sometimes dangerous work,” an unsurprising sentiment from him considering his recent piece for the New York Times Magazine on the declining state of journalism in the face of new media.

The Turkish embassy provided Yahoo with the above picture of the four journalists taken this morning in the Turkish embassy in Libya, where the group appears to be in remarkably good spirits considering their recent ordeal. (From the left: Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks, Turkish ambassador Levent Sahinkaya, Lynsey Addario, Anthony Shadid).

Read the full memo after the jump. Read more