White House Press Secretary Jay
Carney said Wednesday the administration was aware of the four New York Times
reporters missing in Libya, and urged the Libyan government not to harass,
detain or hurt any journalists.
The paper said that it had reports
that four of its journalists had been "swept up" by Libyan forces.
They are Anthony Shadid, the Beirut bureau chief; Stephen Farrell, a reporter
and videographer; and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. It was deja vu for Farrell. He was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009 (eventually rescued by
British commandos), according to the Times.
"We strongly urge the
governments in the entire region - in this case, those in Libya - to protect
journalists, allow them to do their work, do not harass or in any way detain or
use violence against journalists," said Carney in his daily briefing
Wednesday. "[O]ur overall stand is very firm that journalists, American
journalists, need to be allowed to do their work, not harassed, and not
Journalists covering unrest in Egypt,
Libya and elsewhere in the region have been threatened, detained, beaten and
sexually assaulted while reporting on the violence there.
Elsewhere in the Mideast, CNN was reporting that its correspondent, Mohammed Jamjoom, had been expelled today from Bahrain for reasons that were unclear. A CNN team remains in the country, and reporter Leone Lakhani was en route.