Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Thousands sign petition for Hammerl’s release

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling on Libya to release South African photographer Anton Hammerl and three other foreign journalists.

“A petition calling on the Libyan government to release Anton Hammerl, a South African photographer, and three other overseas journalists being detained in Libya 21 days ago, hit the 27 000 mark by midday yesterday [Monday],” said Hammerl’s family and the Free Anton Hammerl Campaign in a joint statement.

His wife, Penny Sukhraj, said: “It is absolutely amazing how so many people who have worked with Anton over the past 15 years have come together to join the campaign for his and the other journalists’ release.

“It’s not just a testament to his work as a photojournalist but also an indication of how many people have been affected by his caring, considerate nature over the years,” she said.

Hammerl’s mother, Freda, said she was amazed by the support but still anxiously waiting for him to make contact.

To date no one has had contact with Hammerl since he was seized by Libyan militia near the city of Brega on April 5.

Spanish photographer Manu Brabo and two US journalists, James Foley, a freelance reporter with GlobalPost, and Clare Morgana Gillis of the Atlantic, were detained the same day.

Gillis told her parents in a phone call from Libya last week that Hammerl was not with the trio when they were detained.

Austrian Foreign ministry spokesperson Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal told the South African Press Association on Monday that both the South African and Austrian governments had “received simultaneous confirmation” that the photographer, who holds dual SA-Austrian nationality, was alive.

The confirmation was obtained from a network of contacts in the troubled North African country.

“We have two independent sources that told us he was alive, that he was well,” said Launsky-Tieffenthal.

He however cautioned that he would be much happier once Hammerl had been heard from directly or had made contact with his family. – Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Phoenix activist takes on Durban’s politically connected in November polls

Independent candidates look set to play a greater role in the metro municipality after 1 November

Libyan town clings to memory of Gaddafi, 10 years on

Rebels killed Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte on 20 October 2011, months into the Nato-backed rebellion that ended his four-decade rule

Fishing subsidies in the W. Cape: ‘Illegal fishing is our...

Fishers claim they are forced into illegal trawling because subsidies only benefit big vessels

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…