NYT reporters free, at Turkish embassy in Libya: Turkish FM

Last Updated: Monday, March 21, 2011 - 21:34

Ankara: Four New York Times journalists
detained in Libya have been released and handed over to
Turkey`s embassy in Tripoli, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu said on Monday.

The minister said Washington had requested Turkish
help in obtaining the release of the journalists who the Times
said were detained by government forces last week.

"Thanks to the Libyan authorities and their
cooperation, the four New York Times journalists were...
handed over to our embassy a while ago," Davutoglu told
reporters.

Efforts are under way "to send them back home within
several hours," he added.

In a statement, a Times spokeswoman said the four were
reportedly in good health.

"We are grateful that our journalists have been
released, and we are working to reunite them with their
families," she said. "We have been told they are in good
health and are in the process of confirming that.

We thank the Turkish, British, and US governments for
their assistance in the release," the Times spokeswoman said.
"We also appreciate the efforts of those Libyans who helped
secure the release this morning."

The New York Times reported the disappearance of the
four last Wednesday. They went missing around the port city of
Ajdabiya during fighting between rebels and strongman Muammar
Gaddafi`s forces.

Later, the newspaper said Libyan government officials
told the State Department that all four were in custody and
would be released.

The missing journalists included Beirut bureau chief
Anthony Shadid, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for
foreign reporting, the most prestigious US journalism award.

The others are Stephen Farrell, a reporter and
videographer who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009 and
rescued by British commandos, and two photographers, Tyler
Hicks and Lynsey Addario, who both have extensive experience
working in the Middle East and Africa.

Last week, Turkey, whose embassy in Tripoli and
consulate in Benghazi remain operational, helped also in the
release of a journalist from Britain`s Guardian newspaper who
had been arrested this month for illegally entering
Libya.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 21, 2011 - 21:34

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