Four New York Times correspondents went missing March 15 while reporting from Libya’s northern port city of Ajdabiya.
They are Anthony Shadid, Beirut bureau chief who has won two Pulitzer Prizes for foreign reporting; Stephen Farell, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009; Tyler Hicks; and Lynsey Addariio. Shadid won the OPC’s 2003 Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire service reporting from abroad when he was working for The Washington Post with the article “The Soul of Iraq: From War to Resistance and Rebirth.”
As news of the four Times reporters broke, so too did the release of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, the Guardian correspondent who was detained by Libyan authorities two weeks ago, has been released.
Abdul-Ahad and Andrei Netto, a correspondent for the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S Paulo, were picked up in the coastal town of Sabratha on 2 March then moved to a prison on the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli.
Netto was freed a week ago, but Libyan officials continued to hold the Guardian reporter despite protests from the newspaper and Amnesty International.
The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, said: “We’re delighted that Ghaith has been released and is safely out of Libya. We are grateful to all those who worked behind the scenes to help free him after his ordeal.”
Abdul-Ahad entered Libya from Tunisia and was last in touch with the paper on the day of his capture.