EVANSTON — Journalist James Foley (MSJ08) spoke at Medill as part of the Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series on Thursday, June 2, 15 days after being released from Libya, where he was held captive for more than six weeks.
Foley, a reporter for Boston-based GlobalPost, was in Libya since mid-March reporting on the uprisings against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. It was on April 5 around the outskirts of Brega that Foley, American reporter Clare Gillis, Spanish photographer Manu Brabo and South African photographer Anton Hammerl were shot at by pro-Gadhafi troops.
“Our story is a very cautionary tale,” Foley said. “We made a lot of mistakes that day.”
After being punched in the face and hit in the head with the butt-end of an AK-47, Foley, along with Gillis and Brabo were handcuffed with electrical cords and taken to Tripoli, where they were held captive for more than six weeks. Hammerl was shot and killed during the attack.
The three journalists, as well as British freelancer Nigel Chandler, were released on May 18 after being convicted of entering Libya without a visa and fined approximately $150. Foley arrived in the United States and was reunited with his family on Saturday, May 21.
A fund has been established to help Foley’s family offset the cost of fighting for his release, as well as to offer aid to the family of Anton Hammerl. For more information, please visit www.freefoley.org.
The Crain Lecture Series regularly brings journalists, newsmakers and others discussing current events and the news business to Northwestern’s Evanston campus.