Calls for safe return of detained journalist

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pretoria - The National Press Club has called on the South African government to assist in the safe return of detained journalist Anton Hammerl.

"If he is captured like reports suggest, South Africa must do everything possible for his immediate release. We appeal to those who might have taken him captive to immediately release him and the others," chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said on Friday.

Hammerl, who has worked for The Star newspaper, was reportedly taken hostage with three other foreign journalists while reporting on the outskirts of Brega on Tuesday.

The Department of International Relations has, however, indicated that it will be in a difficult position to offer any help as everyone from the South African embassy in that country has been evacuated.

Abramjee, who expressed shocked at the news of Hemmerl's disappearance, says South African reporters and photographers often risk their lives to report from the frontlines. 

"This is their job and they should never be kept from doing just that to ensure that the world remains informed." - BuaNews