Two photojournalists, Joe Raedle of Getty Images and Roberto Schmidt of Agence France-Presse, and reporter Dave Clark of AFP have been missing in Libya since Saturday, AFP reported Sunday. Clark and Schmidt told editors via email they were working with Raedle in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk and were planning to meet with opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and refugees fleeing the fighting. They were last heard from Saturday.
Today The New York Times reports that four of its journalists missing since Tuesday, including photographers Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, have been released by Libyan authorities. The four Times journalists, who had entered the country without visas, were arrested while covering the fighting in the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya. In a memo to staff, Times editor Bill Keller said the paper waited until the four journalists were safely out of Libya before announcing the news. In today’s statement, The New York Times says, “We are grateful that our journalists have been released, and we are working to reunite them with their families. We have been told they are in good health and are in the process of confirming that.”
Several other journalists, however, are believed be held in Libyan custody. On Saturday, four journalists with the Al Jazeeera network were detained by Libyan government. A TV cameraperson for the network was killed over the weekend amidst heavy fighting near the rebel-controlled city of Benghazi.
Senior Libyan officials have warned US diplomats that foreign journalists entering the country without visas to cover the rebellion would be considered Al Qaeda collaborators, the AP reports. The US State Department has advised media organizations against sending more journalists into Libya.
Libya Says It Will Release Times Journalists Today