New York, August 24, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the kidnappers of four Italian journalists seized in Tripoli today to release them immediately.
“The four Italian journalists must be released unharmed immediately,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “All sides fighting in Libya must do their utmost to ensure the safety of all media personnel and respect their internationally acknowledged status as civilians.”
The Italian foreign ministry said the Italian consul in Benghazi had spoken by telephone with one of the kidnapped journalists who were apparently unharmed and being held in a Tripoli apartment. Italy’s Corriere della Sera reported that the journalists were abducted by forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi on the road between Zawiya and Tripoli. It said it had received reports that their driver was killed. It named the journalists as Elisabetta Rosaspina and Giuseppe Sarcina of Corriere della Sera, Domenico Quirico of La Stampa, and Claudio Monici from Avvenire.