Pressure Mounts for Libya to Free UMass Amherst alumnus James Foley, Other Journalists

AMHERST, Mass. - UMass Amherst alumnus James Foley, a contributing reporter working for GlobalPost, is reportedly being held by Libyan forces in Tripoli after he and three other journalists were captured April 5 near Brega in eastern Libya.

GlobalPost, a Boston-based online news organization, said a source in Tripoli reported that Foley, along with American journalist Clare Morgana Gillis of The Atlantic and Spanish photographer Manu Brabo were seen inside a Tripoli detention center.

"The sighting of Foley, Gillis and Brabo is the first confirmation that the captured reporters made it to Tripoli," GlobalPost reported on Sunday. According to GlobalPost, Turkish officials in Tripoli are talking with the Libyan government to secure the release of the journalists.

The White House today demanded the release of Foley, Gillis, Brado and South African photographer Anton Hammerl. "We call ... for the release of any journalists detained, any human rights activists, anyone detained unlawfully or inappropriately, and in this case, specifically with those journalists in mind, we call on and demand their release," said Press Secretary Jay Carney.

An online petition posted through Facebook is also calling for the release of Foley and the other journalists (see link below).

Foley, 37, of Rochester, N.H., is a 2003 graduate of the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst.