CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Libya

2011


Blog   |   Libya

VanDyke's deception increases risks for journalists

Matthew VanDyke returned home last week from Libya, arriving at the Baltimore airport still dressed in combat fatigues. "I went there to support the revolution," VanDyke declared. "My family did not know that when I left. You don't tell your mother you're going off to fight a war."

What troubles us is that VanDyke told his mother that he was going to Libya to be a journalist. So when he was captured on March 13 near Brega, that's what she told us.

November 18, 2011 11:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Hetherington exhibition opens new Documentary Center

Rebel Fighter. Libya, April 2011. (Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos)

CPJ is proud to support the inaugural exhibition this weekend of the Bronx Documentary Center, featuring work by acclaimed photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in an explosion in Libya in April.

October 20, 2011 12:43 PM ET

Blog   |   Libya

NATO responds to CPJ, but questions remain unanswered

On August 4, CPJ wrote to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen requesting information about the July 30 attacks on broadcast facilities in Libya in which NATO aircraft destroyed three broadcast dishes. As we noted in our letter, CPJ is concerned any time a media outlet faces a military attack. Such attacks can only be justified under international humanitarian law if the facility is being used for military purposes or to incite violence against the civilian population.

September 13, 2011 1:42 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Video: Journalists holed up in Rixos Hotel


About 35 international journalists remained holed up in Tripoli's Rixos Hotel today, unable to leave the location, according to news reports. New video from The Guardian, above, shows reporters and photojournalists inside the hotel. BBC correspondent Matthew Price said conditions "deteriorated massively" overnight as forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi patrolled the corridors.

UPDATE: Journalists in the Rixos Hotel have been allowed to leave, according to news accounts. CNN's Matthew Chance said the journalists negotiated with armed guards to win their release. The journalists left this afternoon local time in cars provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

August 24, 2011 9:13 AM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Request to NATO for clarification on Libya TV attack

Qaddafi on state TV in February. (AP)

On July 30, NATO warplanes attacked three transmission towers in Libya. The goal apparently was to knock Libyan state television off the air because, NATO alleged, "it was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them." 

August 4, 2011 5:51 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Journalists under attack in Libya: The tally

Rebels outside the city of Ajdabiya. (AP/Anja Niedringhaus)
CPJ has documented more than 80 attacks on the press since political unrest erupted in Libya last month. They include five fatalities, at least three serious injuries, at least 50 detentions, 11 assaults, two attacks on news facilities, the jamming of Al-Jazeera and Al-Hurra transmissions, at least four instances of obstruction, the expulsion of two international journalists, and the interruption of Internet service. At least six local journalists are missing amid speculation they are in the custody of security forces. One international journalist and two media support workers are also unaccounted for. Here's a running list of all attacks on journalists and the media in Libya since February 16:

Blog   |   Libya, UK

After the prelude: Remembering Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington at the World Press Photo Award exhibition in Zurich in 2008. He won for his photo "American Soldier." (AP/Keystone/Eddy Risch)

On Friday, May 13, some 500 people gathered at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mayfair, London, to remember, celebrate, and lay to rest photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington.  

May 17, 2011 10:59 AM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Chris Hondros: Images of life and death

Photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libya on April 20, captured humanity at its worst and its best, in times of war and despair and at moments of kindness and hope. Here are some of his photos, from some of the world's most treacherous spots, courtesy of Getty Images.

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The first image is from Hondros' last assignment in Misurata, where a rebel fighter rolls a burning tire into a room of loyalist troops. The next two images are also from the Libyan conflict, the first an overloaded aid truck and the second at a graveside.

They are followed by a photo from Nigeria, where a child is given a vaccine; from Iraq, where pistol meets prayer; and from Liberia, where a soldier comes under scrutiny.

The final two images are a contrast in war and peace. Hooded Iraqis await interrogation by U.S. Marines; and Kurdish boys play in Turkey, near the Iraqi border.

Please read the CPJ special report on journalists killed in 2011 and visit our database of reporters, editors, photojournalists, and others who have given their lives for their work. Also available is this tribute to Hondros by Nic Bothma. Fellow photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who died in the same attack, was remembered by Dino Mahtani.

UPDATED: We updated this entry on December 20, 2011, to add links to our year-end report on journalists killed. Photographers paid a heavy price during the year.  

April 22, 2011 6:04 PM ET

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Blog   |   Liberia, Libya

Tribute to Chris Hondros, who ventured far with his torch

Chris Hondros, Carolyn Cole, a rebel fighter, and the author in Liberia. (Courtesy Nic Bothma)

My dear friend Chris.

In the silence, I hear the symphony of memories that was your life as I knew it. I see your waving hand gestures and wry smile as you recount stories whilst we sit together in the tropical Liberian heat discussing everything from classical music to aperture priority. My heart and mind keep seeing you, hearing you, and struggling to believe you have moved on.

April 22, 2011 4:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Tim Hetherington: A star inexorably, humbly rising

Hetherington at the opening night of the World Press Photo Award exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 7, 2008. (AP/Keystone/Eddy Risch)

I first met Tim Hetherington in Monrovia in 2005, in the run-up to Liberia's then historic elections, which officially drew the line under the country's 14-year civil war. Tim had already reported from Liberia in the chaotic final stages of that war in 2003, marching for days on end through dense and unforgiving tropical bush filming rebels making a last desperate assault on the regime of the falling president, Charles Taylor.

April 22, 2011 12:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Libya

Al-Jazeera journalist pans China's Libya coverage

In reporting on the Libyan conflict, China's media "emphasize only the humanitarian disasters caused by Western air bombardments, and [report] sparingly if at all on the violent suppression and massacre of the people by Qaddafi," Al-Jazeera's Beijing bureau chief, Ezzat Shahrour, writes on his blog. Chinese readers so far have been largely supportive of his viewpoint.

April 19, 2011 1:58 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Q&A: NYT's Lynsey Addario on Libya sexual assault

Lynsey Addario said at Columbia University that her ordeal was no worse than her male colleagues'. (Rebecca Castillo)

New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario is speaking publicly about sexual aggression she experienced while detained in Libya last month by forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi. Addario was held for six days with Times colleagues Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, and Tyler Hicks, all of whom were subjected to physical abuse. In this interview with CPJ, Addario speaks candidly about the brutality, focusing particularly on the groping and other sexual aggression she endured. Farrell, her colleague, also spoke briefly with CPJ. All forms of anti-press violence are abhorrent, but the issue of sexual aggression has not been as widely documented or discussed as other types of attacks. Since CBS News disclosed in February that correspondent Lara Logan was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted while on assignment in Cairo, more journalists are starting to speak out in hopes the issue can be more fully understood. Here is Addario's story:

April 4, 2011 12:09 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Taking risks to tell the story: NYT journalists discuss Libya

Anthony Shadid, left, and Tyler Hicks tell the audience about their ordeal in Libya. (Pauline Eiferman)

On March 15, four New York Times journalists were detained in Libya while crossing a checkpoint after they entered the country without visas. They were released six days later. The four--photojournalists Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, and reporters Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell--came to Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on Thursday for what will be their only public event. The panel was moderated by Columbia Professor Ann Cooper, who was formerly CPJ's executive director.

Blog   |   Libya

BBC reporters recount abuse in Libya

In this video from London's Guardian, a team of BBC journalists describes abuse at the hands of forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Read more about their ordeal in this CPJ news alert.

March 15, 2011 5:03 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Safety advisories for journalists covering Libya

The Libyan conflict is the most recent in a string of dangerous international stories. Several journalists are missing. A BBC crew was detained and subjected to beatings and a mock execution. TV crews report having their equipment seized. The Europe-based International News Safety Institute, a consortium of news organizations and journalist groups including CPJ, is monitoring the evolving security conditions and issuing timely advisories

March 11, 2011 2:42 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Internet, Libya, Turkey

Libya's disordered Internet

Craig Labowitz at Arbor has been sifting through the evidence of how countries in the Middle East have been blocking and throttling the Internet in the last week. His analysis indicates that while both Bahrain and Yemen had periods of slowed or impaired access, only Libya seems to have taken the drastic step of shutting off the Net entirely.

February 22, 2011 3:52 PM ET

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