Reporters Without Borders is pleased that the foreign journalists being held in the Rixos Hotel were finally allowed to leave at around 5 p.m. today. They departed in vehicles provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Interview of the BBC journalist: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14654958
24.08.2011 - 11am - Foreign journalists held hostage in Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel
Thirty-five foreign journalists have been unable to leave Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel since the evening of 21 August. Already in Tripoli before the battle for the city began 48 hours ago, they had been forced to stay in this hotel by the Gaddafi government. Foreign diplomats are also trapped there.
The hotel is surrounded by Gaddafi loyalists who are preventing the journalists from leaving. They are held hostage on the hotel’s first floor, the prisoners of a dying regime that refuses to lay down its arms. There are frequent cuts in the power and water supply.
Their situation is very worrying. As the hotel has been targeted, the journalists have hung sheets outside the windows with the words “Television, press, don’t shoot.” They are all wearing bullet-proof vests. “We don’t know what to expect,” CNN correspondent Matthew Chance said, speaking on the air. “We would like to get out of here but we cannot.”
Reporters Without Borders urges all the parties involved to ensure the safety of journalists, both Libyan and foreign, who are covering developments in Libya. The National Transitional Council, which has been recognized by many countries as Libya’s provisional government, must do everything in its power to allow journalists to cover the fighting freely and safely.
A few accounts: