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Libya: 'NYT' Journalists Freed, Others Remain Captive/Missing

The New York Times says the Libyan government has released four journalists held captive since last week while covering the conflict with rebel forces there, but the Committee to Protect Journalists notes that 13 other journalists remain either in Libyan custody or are unaccounted for.

The NYT said that Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario, and reporter/videographer Stephen Farrell were released into Turkish custody Monday and moved to Tunisia.

CPJ was buoyed by the news, but less so by the remaining captives and missing.

"Four journalists from Al-Jazeera, two from Agence France-Presse, and one from Getty Images are either being detained by Libyan authorities or are missing," said CPJ executive director Joel Simon in a statement. "Six Libyan journalists are also missing and unaccounted for. We call on Libyan authorities to release those journalists in their custody and to assist in efforts to locate those who are missing."

According to CPJ, in custody are Al-Jazeera correspondents Ahmed Vall Ould Addin and Lotfi al-Messaoudi and cameramen Kamel Atalua and Ammar al-Hamdan. AFP journalists Dave Clark and Roberto Schmidt and Getty Images photographer Joe Raedle were still not accounted for as of press time Monday, said CPJ, and were last heard from March 18.

In addition, at least six local journalists who criticized the government are said to be missing but believed to be the hands of pro-government forces. They are Atef al-Atrash; blogger Mohamed al-Sahim; cartoonist Mohamed al-Amin, Idris al-Mismar; Salma al-Shaab; head of the Libyan Journalists Syndicate; and Suad al-Turabouls, according to the committee.

Separately, Reporters Without Borders said they were concerned about yet another journalist, Stephane Lehr, a French freelance photographer, who was reported missing not long after he arrived in country Sunday with a French TV crew

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.