France Press said the Libyan government released on Wednesday three journalists captured last week near a key eastern city that has been a daily battleground between Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and Libyan rebels.
The AFP reported the three were freed in Tripoli. The journalists are reporter Dave Clark, 38, and photographer Roberto Schmidt, 45, both of whom work for AFP; and Joe Raedle, 45, a photographer for Getty Images. Citing a driver who was traveling with them, AFP said the journalists ran into a military convoy about 7 miles (12 kilometers) outside the eastern city of Ajdabiya on Saturday, and the three were detained. Four New York Times journalists held for six days and released last Thursday said they were abused while in Libyan captivity. “All those who at every moment of their lives think that freedom is not a useless word are rejoicing thoroughly at this hour,” said AFP chief executive Emmanuel Hoog in a statement released in French. ”I thank everyone in the company for his or her mobilization, the French government for its determination to find a just and happy end to this detention and the Libyan authorities for their speed, following my urgent request, to liberate some journalists whose only aim was to witness the reality of the situation that Libya is facing today.”