Friday, April 15, 2011


Four Reporters and Photographers Missing in Libya

At its annual board meeting in Washington this week, the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) called for the release of four journalists who were detained in eastern Libya last week while covering the conflict there.

Clare Morgana Gillis, an American reporter working for The Atlantic and USA Today; James Wright Foley, an American reporter working for GlobalPost; Manu Brabo, a Spanish photographer working for the European Press Photo Agency; and Anton Lazarus Hammerl, a South African photojournalist, were all believed to have been seized by Libyan forces last Tuesday, April 5. Though all four journalists were initially reported to have been seized by pro-Gaddafi forces northeast of Brega, subsequent reports have not been able confirm that Hammerl was with the other three; all four remain missing.

Various press reports have suggested that the journalists are in the custody of the Libyan government, but at this point no representative from the U.S government or any humanitarian group has been allowed in to see the journalists and confirm the detainees’ safety and well-being. The Atlantic, USA Today and GlobalPost are working with the U.S. State Department and with the government of Turkey (which serves as the “protecting power” for the U.S. government in the absence of an American diplomatic mission there), as well as with Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian groups, to gather information about the status of the detained journalists and to hasten their release.

ASME, along with the journalism organizations these detainees work for, are concerned about the safety of Gillis, Foley, Brabo and Hammerl. We appeal to authorities in Libya to free them as soon as possible.