Four New York Times Reporters Missing in Libya

Bill Keller says he's been promised that, if Tripoli captured them, they'll be release unharmed

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Four New York Times journalists are missing in Libya--reporters Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell, and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. The Times media reporter Jeremy Peters, who was the first to report on the missing reporters, said the paper suspects the four had been "swept up by Libyan government forces."

The statement from editor Bill Keller was exceedingly diplomatic about the Times' current discussions with the government led by Muammar Qaddafi:

“We have talked with officials of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and they tell us they are attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of our journalists,” Mr. Keller said. “We are grateful to the Libyan government for their assurance that if our journalists were captured they would be released promptly and unharmed.”

Shadid has won two Pulitzer Prizes for international reporting. Farrell was kidnapped two years ago by the Taliban. The photographers are veterans in coverage of the Middle East and Africa.

Three reporters for the BBC were detained, beaten, and subjected to a mock execution earlier this month. During the uprisings in Egypt, two other Times reporters were detained but released unharmed.

Guardian correspondent Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was detained 13 days ago; Tripoli has confirmed he's being held but won't say where or why.

Brazilian reporter Andrei Netto was held eight days by the Libyan government. He says he was not physically abused, "but I could describe many psychological abuses, in special the fact that there were no charges against us, neither did we have any idea when we would be freed. How do you explain that?"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.