The Cutline

Three of the five Western journalists missing in Libya spotted in detention camp

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Just days after releasing four journalists working for the New York Times, Muammer Gadhafi's Libyan security forces took more Western reporters captive last week. And though details of their condition and whereabouts are still scant, three of the missing five--Clare Morgana Gillis, a freelancer on assignment for The Atlantic, James Wright Foley, a correspondent for the website GlobalPost, and Manuel Varela de Seijas Brabo, a Spanish photographer--have been spotted in a government detention camp in Tripoli, reports the Washington Post's Paul Farhi today.

Despite calls for their release by the White House and the State Department, Libya has yet to acknowledged that it has even taken the journalists captive. The whereabouts of two others--South African news photographer Anton Lazarus Hammerl and Matthew VanDyke, a freelance journalist from Baltimore—are unknown. Farhi notes that, according to the The Committee to Protect Journalists, a group that monitors the treatment of the media by foreign governments, at least 18 journalists are currently missing in Libya.

"We simply don't know when they'll be released," Philip Balboni, the chief executive of GlobalPost, told Farhi. "We're greatly concerned that they're there with no knowledge of the diplomatic efforts being made on their behalf. It must be extremely hard for them."

Meanwhile, on Thursday night in New York, at a book release party for Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal attended by The Cutline's Joe Pompeo, Justin Smith, the president of Atlantic Media, spoke about the magazine's missing journalist in Libya, saying that the company is doing everything in its power to get her out of detention, and that she is foremost in everyone's thoughts and prayers.

(Photo: Nasser Nasser/AP)

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