4 New York Times journalists captured in Libya have been released

Anthony Shadid (top left), Lynsey Addario (top right), Tyler Hicks (bottom left) and Stephen Farrell (bottom right) were released into the custody of Turkish diplomats.

Four journalists working for The New York Times who have been missing in Libya were released Monday morning.

The journalists — Lynsey Addario, Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, and Tyler Hicks — were released into the custody of Turkish diplomats six days after being captured.

Turkey’s ambassador, Namik Tan, tweeted about the news Monday morning, saying: “The 4 @nytimes journalists are on their way to leave Libyan border and will be delivered to US officials.”

The journalists were originally expected to be released on Friday, the Times had reported. Last Thursday, the staff of The New York Times Magazine posted a message to their missing friends.

Newsweek published an audio recording made by Addario on March 10, just a few days before she failed to report in to the newspaper.

In the recording, filed by phone, Addario talks about the dangers she and her colleagues face in Libya.

“None of us have any body armor. We don’t have flak jackets, we don’t have helmets, things that we typically use to cover the fight in Afghanistan or Iraq.

“None of us brought them with us because many came from Egypt and that sort of gear is confiscated in Egypt. We didn’t bring it because we just didn’t anticipate there being such a battle.

“No one has been killed but this is incredibly dangerous. This is by far the most dangerous thing I’ve ever covered. There’s no cover. There’s no place to hide.”

Addario had been kidnapped previously. She wrote a first-person account in May 2004 about being held in Iraq.

“Our translator and driver were still being questioned amidst a flurry of activity outside the car, and I sat, my eyes now to the ground like a good ‘Muslim’ woman, and let fate envelop me. Jeffrey [the reporter] was calm, and reassuring. I paused, and realized that in my haste to jump out of our car, I left all my belongings in our car — including my cameras — which was now being driven away by one of the insurgents. Would I ever see my cameras again? How could I have left them behind? What were the last images I shot? Will I even live to care?”

New York Times reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell was also kidnapped previously; he was held in Afghanistan for four days in 2009, along with his interpreter, who was killed in the rescue attempt:

“ ‘We were all in a room, the Talibs all ran, it was obviously a raid,’ Mr. Farrell said. ‘We thought they would kill us. We thought should we go out.’

“Mr. Farrell said as he and Mr. Munadi ran outside, he heard voices. ‘There were bullets all around us. I could hear British and Afghan voices.’

“At the end of a wall, Mr. Farrell said Mr. Munadi went forward, shouting: ‘Journalist! Journalist!’ but dropped in a hail of bullets. ‘I dived in a ditch,’ said Mr. Farrell, who said he did not know whether the shots had come from allied or militant fire. …

“The rescue of Mr. Farrell came about 11 weeks after David Rohde, another reporter for The Times, escaped and made his way to freedom after more than seven months of captivity in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Shadid, foreign correspondent for The New York Times and Beirut bureau chief, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010 and 2004 for international reporting. Hicks was part of the New York Times team that won a 2009 Pulitzer for international reporting.

The Committee to Project Journalists says there have been more than 40 attacks on the press in the last month in Libya, with at least six local reporters missing.

Journalists have faced increasing risk of abduction recently. Reporters without Borders says there were 51 journalist kidnappings in 2010, compared to 33 in 2009 and 29 in 2008.

Dozens of journalists were detained or attacked in February during the uprising in Egypt, including Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and Lara Logan.

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  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Thanks, Paul. We’ve clarified that it was his son.

    ~Mallary

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Norton/525418494 Paul Norton

    Hi, an important point: it’s not the colonel who said “They entered the country illegally” etc., but his son. Thanks for the good aggregation, though.