US 'concerned' for journalists held in Libya

The United States is “very concerned” for the well-being of four journalists who have been held in Libya for two weeks, the White House said on Tuesday.

In reference to the four reporters missing in Libya—including South African photographer Anton Hammerl—White House spokesperson Jay Carney said that “we are very concerned but can’t go into detail” in a Twitter post.

“We’re working hard to assist them in any way we can,” Carney said.

Besides Hammerl, Clare Morgana Gillis, of the TheAtlantic.com, James Foley, a freelance reporter with GlobalPost.com and Spanish photographer Manu Brabo, went missing on April 4 in eastern Libya.

Citing “several sources in Libya,” the online news site GlobalPost said last week that Tripoli had promised to free them soon.

Musa Ibrahim, the official spokesperson for the government of Muammar Gaddafi, told the website the four journalists had been detained by the Libyan military and would be treated correctly, transferred to Tripoli and freed.

Mission partially reopened
On Monday, South Africa said it had partially re-opened its Libyan mission as part of an effort to track down Hammerl.

“There are people on the ground who are following up leads,” International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane told a media briefing in Pretoria.

She refused to answer any detailed questions about Hammerl for fear of affecting the mission and his safety.

“We continue to provide consular services to his family and are in regular contact with his wife.” said Nkoane-Mashabane on Monday.

She pleaded with those who had captured Hammerl to release him so he could be reunited with his family. - AFP, Sapa

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