Four New York Times reporters/photographers were taken into custody on March 15th. All four were released today. The only female, photographer Lynsey Addario, says she was repeatedly sexually assaulted (as opposed to being raped) and was told she would die.
Miss Addario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, gave a harrowing account of her brutal treatment at the hands of their Libyan captors in an interview given just hours after her release.
After she and her colleagues were hauled out of a car at a checkpoint near the eastern city of Ajdabiya, one of the Libyans punched her in the face and laughed at her.
‘Then I started crying and he was laughing more,’ she told the Times.
One man grabbed her breasts – the start of a pattern of sexual harassment she endured over the ensuing 48 hours.
‘There was a lot of groping,’ she said. ‘Every man who came in contact with us basically felt every inch of my body short of what was under my clothes.’
Anthony Shadid is the NYT Beirut Bureau Chief and two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for foreign reporting. Shadid is an Oklahoman (as am I) and his parents live in in Edmond, a bedroom community of Oklahoma City. Read the original story here.
Stephen Farrell is a reporter and videographer kidnapped by Taliban in 2009 and rescued by British commandos.
Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario are both award-winning photographers.
The Turkish Embassy was instrumental in the release. The MailOnline piece linked above has interesting details of their harrowing experience, including threats of beheading, and some incredible photographs. Read more on Addario at Memorandum.