Best Column

Held captive in Libya: 4 journalists tell their story

Four New York Times journalists were captured by Gadhafi forces, brutally beaten, and, thankfully, released six days later

On Tuesday, March 15, four New York Times journalists — Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell, and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario — were captured by fighters loyal to the Libyan government while covering what they describe as the "desperate rebel stand against the advancing forces of Col. Moammar Gadhafi," in the eastern city of Ajdabiya. After six harrowing days of being regularly beaten, and in the case of Addario, the sole female, repeatedly groped, and worrying that they might be killed at any moment, the journalists were released into the custody of Turkish diplomats on Monday. In today's New York Times, they tell their story. Here, an excerpt:

All of us had had close calls over the years. Lynsey was kidnapped in Falluja, Iraq, in 2004; Steve in Afghanistan in 2009. Tyler had more scrapes than he could count, from Chechnya to Sudan, and Anthony was shot in the back in 2002 by a man he believed to be an Israeli soldier. At that moment, though, none of us thought we were going to live. Steve tried to keep eye contact until they pulled the trigger. The rest of us felt the powerlessness of resignation. You feel empty when you know that it’s almost over.

"Shoot them," a tall soldier said calmly in Arabic.

A colleague next to him shook his head. "You can't," he insisted. "They're Americans."

Read the entire piece in The New York Times.

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