Libya Expected to Release Four More Captured Journalists

Four journalists, including two photographers, who were detained on Tuesday by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will soon be released, according to a report just published by GlobalPost.com.

Qaddafi’s chief spokesperson has said the journalists will be taken to Tripoli and released soon, according to GlobalPost, which employs one of the captured journalists as a freelance contributor.

“We are encouraged that a positive end to this situation may be closer at hand,” said GlobalPost President and CEO Philip S. Balboni.

Those detained included freelance photographers Manu Brabo of Spain and Anton Hammerl of South Africa; and reporters James Foley of the online news site GlobalPost and Clare Morgana Gillis, an American freelancer.

Witnesses said the four journalists were taken into custody Tuesday evening in eastern Libya when Qaddafi’s troops stopped their car. Their driver was reportedly released.

According to The New York Times, the witnesses recounted the capture of the journalists to an official from Human Rights Watch and to a New York Times reporter, both of whom are in Libya.

It took time for anyone to figure out who the captured journalists were, the Times noted. Their capture wasn’t reported by news organizations until yesterday, when Human Rights Watch was able to inform GlobalPost that one of its reporters was among those detained.

Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists joined GlobalPost in appealing for the journalists’ release. Former US Congressman Curt Weldon, who is in Tripoli, has also appealed for their release, according to GlobalPost.

Three weeks ago, four journalists for The New York Times--including photographers Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks–were captured and detained by Qaddafi’s forces. Although they had a major news organization working for their release, they were held for six days.

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