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More Than 30 Journalists Stranded In Tripoli

PTI 24 Aug 2011, 17:42:45 IST

Tripoli, Aug 24: More than thirty journalists from around the world including CCTV reporters have been stranded in Rixos Hotel in the center of Tripoli for three days since Sunday.

They experienced a long and stressful Wednesday.

On that morning, Gaddafi's second son Seif al-Islam appeared in the hotel unexpectedly. After interviewing him, the stranded journalists received a message that Libyan opposition forces would attack the hotel in the afternoon. They packed their things and hurried to the second floor of the hotel with great tension.

Then they hung a white cloth with the word “TV” on it on the banister of the second floor, and put up a notice on the wall of the hotel with the words “Media is here” in Arabic. And everybody also tied a piece of white cloth to remind others of their identities as journalist instead of army man.

The security guards employed by the media reminded the journalists to take cover when they were shooting videos and not to put the cameras on their shoulders in case of being taken as weapons.

There were frequent and close gunshots outside the hotel during the waiting period.

Three hour later, some journalists received an updated message that the opposition forces have occupied the Aziziya compound, and they won't attack the hotel in the short time.

However, after the false alarm, the journalists still couldn't leave the hotel.

The shortage of electricity, water and food inside the hotel and the gunshots and bombings outside the hotel have brought great pressure to the lives and the security of the stranded reporters. They had to lie on the ground even when they were making phone calls via the maritime satellite. The biggest wish for them is to get free as early as possible.

By the time of this report, Chinese Minster of Foreign Affairs and Chinese Embassy in Tripoli were trying to help the stranded reporters.  AP