Freelance photographer Anton Hammerl remains unaccounted for in Libya, more than 40 days after Libyan authorities say they took him into custody. The lack of information has escalated concern among his family and friends about his health and safety.
“All we do is concern ourselves with what we can do in order to get him back. Our lives are no longer normal but instead totally consumed with anguish over Anton’s safety,” his wife, Penny Sukhraj, told The Guardian in London. “I don’t understand why he is being treated differently from the others…Why won’t they give us or consular officials access to him?”
Three other journalists–freelance photographer Manu Brabo, and freelance writers Clare Gillis and James Foley–also remain in detention, but all three contacted their families by telephone from Tripoli in late April. They reported that they were in good health.
The journalists went missing April 5, and Libyan officials announced soon afterwards that they had detained all four of them. The Libyan government accused them of entering the country illegally, but has not indicated when they might be released.
Families and friends of the four journalists have set up several Facebook pages to raise awareness about their plight, share information, and bring international pressure to bear on Libyan officials to release them. An online petition was also started, drawing nearly 35,000 signatures to date.
“As freelance correspondents, Jim, Clare, Manu, and Anton do not have the benefit of a large and powerful news corporation to galvanize diplomatic pressure to secure their timely and safe release,” the petition says. “They were doing their job to help inform others, and now deserve to return home to their families.”
Other journalists–including several working for The New York Times–were detained by Libyan government troops and released within days partly because of the influence of the media organizations behind them.
Wilbur “Bill” Garrett, who methodically raised the standards for photography at National Geographic and pushed for coverage of timely and sometimes controversial subjects during his tenure as editor in the 1980s, died at his home on August 13, National Geographic has reported. He was 85. Garrett began pushing for a more photojournalistic approach to Geographic... More ›
What would it be like to assist Josef Koudelka? What could an assistant learn simply by observing and helping the legendary Czech photographer? Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, a new documentary film making its U.S. debut today at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (and showing again this Sunday, July 31), gives viewers an opportunity to... More ›
The sister of deceased American journalist Marie Colvin has filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. district court in Washington D.C. against the state of Syria, alleging that Colvin was deliberately targeted for extrajudicial killing by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The 2012 artillery attack on a media center in Homs killed Colvin, 56,... More ›