August 28th, 2014

Want to Buy a Drink for the Photographer Who Delivered James Foley’s Last Letter?

www.davidbrabyn.com/buy-daniel-rye-a-beer

www.davidbrabyn.com/buy-daniel-rye-a-beer

After the murder of journalist James Foley by his captors in Syria, his parents released to the public their last communication from him. Because all of Foley’s letters were confiscated by his captors, he asked a fellow captive to commit to memory a letter for his family.

Photojournalist Daniel Rye Ottosen (known professionally as Daniel Rye) had been kidnapped in May 2013 by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and was held with Foley for 13 months. When he was released in June, he called Foley’s parents and dictated the letter from memory. Foleys thanked him “from the bottom of our hearts” on the Free James Foley Facebook page where they shared the letter.

When photojournalist David Brabyn, a friend of Foley’s, heard about Rye’s message, he recalls, “I thought, what a thing to do! I wish I could buy him a drink.” Brabyn figured out a way to do that, and he’s offering others a way to thank Rye, too.

Brabyn has set up the Buy Daniel Rye a Beer web page, with a Pay Pal account where people can chip in beer money. (In addition to being a photographer, Brabyn is also a website consultant at digitaltechparis, and has experience at charity fundraising:  He and Foley worked together organizing the Friends of Anton benefit photo auction, which raised over $135,000 for the children of photojournalist Anton Hammerl, who was killed in Libya when Foley was captured and detained the first time, in 2011, along with two other journalists.)

Brabyn got in touch with a friend of Rye’s who will make sure someone picks up the photographer’s bar tabs while the funds last; friends who treat Rye will be reimbursed from the money collected through the website. Brabyn acknowledges that Rye may have need for more than beer, but says the Buy Daniel Rye a Beer effort is simply a way to say thanks. “This isn’t about turning his life around. It’s just a friendly gesture from people who think he did something great,” Brabyn says. “If he wants to order wine or anything other than beer, that’s fine.”

Given the number of people around the world who have been touched by the letter Rye delivered, there might be a lot of people thanking him. “I think what he did is an astonishing achievement: to be locked up in terrible conditions, in a war zone, for so long and yet manage to memorize this long text,” Brabyn notes. “On top of that feat of the mind, he delivered this moving letter that is obviously so hugely meaningful to Jim’s family.”

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Danish Photojournalist Released After 13 Months in Captivity

Print Sales, Web Site to Benefit Anton Hammerl’s Children

September 7th, 2011

Print Sales, Web Site to Benefit Anton Hammerl’s Children

Friends of Anton Hammerl, the South African-born, London-based photographer and photo editor who was killed by pro-Qaddafi forces in Libya in April, have set up a Web site, www.friendsofanton.org,  to raise money for his three children. Tax deductible donations made to the site, which is sponsored by the non-profit Reporters Without Borders, will be used for the future education of Aurora, 11, Neo, 7, and Hiro, six months old.

Several photographers have donated prints which are being sold through the site; they include Joao Silva, Greg Marinovich, David Burnett, Teun Voeten, Frank Fournier, Andrew Testa and Teru Kuwayama, among others.

“Many people wanted to contribute to the future of Anton’s children,” says journalist Colleen Delaney, one of the volunteers behind the creation of the site. “There has been so much good will and the photo and journalism communities wanted to help.”

Photographer David Brabyn, another volunteer, says in a press release, “Everyone has worked tirelessly to get this project on the road – from the talented photographers who are donating their works, right down to web-based companies such as Emphas.is and PhotoShelter, who advised us, donated the account and waived transaction fees.” The site has also been supported by The Steven Vincent Foundation, digitaltechparis.com, Human Rights Watch and Committee to Protect Journalists.

Hammerl was working in Libya alongside photojournalist Manu Brabo and reporters Clare Morgana Gillis and James Foley on April 5 when the four went missing. While the other journalists were held in prison, Hammerl’s whereabouts remained unknown for six weeks. Upon their release in June, Gillis, Foley and Brabo informed Hammerl’s family that they had seen him shot by Libyan forces the day they were detained.

Related story:
Anton Hammerl Presumed Dead, Family Announces