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CPJ Urges Libyan Forces Not to Harm Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the forces fighting for control of Tripoli to treat journalists there as civilians and ensure their safety.

The group is particularly concerned about the journalists, which include CNN's Matthew Chance, who are being held at the Rixos hotel, allegedly by Gadhafi loyalists claiming it is for their own protection.

"All sides in the conflict have an obligation to avoid harming journalists and to respect their status under international law as civilians," said the Committee.

More than 30 journalists are essentially interned in the hotel, along with former D.C. Delegate Walter Fauntroy, who was in Tripoli on a peace mission. He told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in a phone interview that he was praying for the safety of the journalists and said they, and he, needed to be relocated for their safety.

Chance said that things had calmed down outside the hotel, but that they were still not allowed to leave. CNN reported at one point that there were concerns the pro-Gadhafi forces were using the journalists as human shields.

Elsewhere, Gadhafi's compound had been breached and apparently looted, according to first-hand accounts from CNN correspondent Sara Sidner.

On CNN's Situation Room, Jack Cafferty took time before his regular commentary segment to marvel at Sidner's bravery as she reported from the compound as round of ammunition were repeated fired nearby by celebrating rebels.

Sidner is a former local TV anchor at various stations including KTVU Oakland, Calif. She left KTVU in 2008 to join CNN, where she is currently the network's New Delhi-based international correspondent.