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.
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.
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."
Photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libyaon 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.