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South Florida Journalist and Two Others Freed In Libya

Joe Raedle, a Getty Images photographer from South Florida, and two colleagues from Agence France-Presse who were all arrested in Libya on Saturday, have been released in Tripoli. On Tuesday night, Raedle's wife, Nancy San Martin, said that the Libyan government had released her husband. AFP announced the release on Wednesday.

"I never doubted that he would be fine. I've been very confident about that," San Martin told the Associated Press. "He's very level-headed, he knows that staying calm and following protocol is the right thing to do."

Forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi detained Raedle and his two colleagues, Roberto Schmidt and Dave Clark, after they ran into a military convoy in northeastern Libya, according to the AFP. Soldiers torched their vehicle and drove them away in a military vehicle.

Their release came on the heels of Monday's news that four New York Times journalists also held by Qaddafi's forces were released. The four had endured frequent beatings throughout their week of detainment. In addition to punches, kicks and gun-butts, the one female reporter, Lynsey Addario, was repeatedly groped. They recounted their brutal captivity in Wednesday's Times.

Raedle, a former staff photographer for the Sun-Sentinel, has covered other war zones in the past. On July 2, 2009, his work from Afghanistan was featured in the Pictures of the Day section on the NYT's photography blog, Lens. Raedle snapped four of the 13 pictures that day. 

To further illustrate the dangers faced by journalists currently covering the Libyan upheaval, here's what the Committee to Protect Journalists has found:

CPJ has documented more than 60 attacks on the press since unrest erupted in Libya last month. They include two fatalities, a gunshot injury, 36 detentions, nine assaults, two attacks on news facilities, the jamming of Al-Jazzera and Al-Hurra transmissions, at least three instances of obstruction, and the interruption of internet service. At least six local journalists are missing amid speculation they are in the custody of security forces. One media support worker is also unaccounted for.

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Michael Cohen

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