Hammerl family to hold vigil on Media Freedom Day

2011-05-03 14:26

The family of missing photographer Anton Hammerl will light candles for him at vigils in London and Johannesburg today to mark World Media Freedom Day, his 29th day in captivity in war-torn Libya.

“It will have been 29 days since anyone has had contact with the South African freelance photographer Hammerl who was captured near Brega on April 5.

He has not been heard from since, despite a range of informal assurances that he will be allowed to phone his family,” his family and friends said in a statement.

The vigils were organised by the Hammerl family and the Free Photographer Anton Hammerl Campaign.

“Anton Hammerl’s wife Penny Sukhraj, his mother Freda Hammerl and brother Alex Hammerl will light candles for him at a vigil in London to mark the 29th day of his captivity in Libya.

“Simultaneously in Johannesburg his father Ludwig Hammerl will join Anton’s friends, former colleagues and journalists based in South Africa, to light candles and call for his release,” read the statement.

The Johannesburg vigil will be held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Parktown, Johannesburg.

To date, no-one has had contact with Hammerl since he was seized by Libyan militia near the city of Brega on April 5.

Last week, both the South African and Austrian governments had “received simultaneous confirmation” that the photographer, who holds dual SA-Austrian nationality, was alive.

Austrian foreign ministry spokesman Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal said they had two independent sources tell them he was alive and well.

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