NU, students rally for Foley’s release

Sean Lavery

More than 20 supporters braved the rainy conditions Wednesday to call for the release of James Foley (MSJ ’08), a journalist who was detained by pro-Gadhafi forces in Libya 24 days ago.

Students, professors and friends of Foley met outside of Crowe Hall to listen to presentations including a speech by Medill Dean John Lavine. The rally was cut short after about 20 minutes due to inclement weather.

Lavine said the rally represented an ongoing effort by the University to protest the capture of Foley and other journalists covering the Libyan conflict.

“Jim Foley is an excellent journalist,” Lavine said. “He was reporting in Libya and was thrown in jail for telling the people of the world what is happening in that conflict. Our faculty and students are working hard to protest Jim’s detention. Jim took great personal risks so citizens inside Libya and around the world are better informed. We urge the Libyan regime to immediately release him.”

A press release from the Foley family, made public Sunday, detailed a five-minute phone call between Foley and his parents.

“James expressed concern for any worry he has caused his family,” the statement said. “James also wanted to express his thanks to all those working for his release.”

Fellow captured reporter Clare Gillis was allowed a second call home on Tuesday. She told her parents she was being treated humanely and in civilized conditions, according to The Atlantic.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney updated reporters Monday on the government’s response to the Libyan government’s detainment of journalists.

“I think what I’ve said is, and what I’ll continue to say, is, we’re obviously very concerned,” he said. “We oppose the detention of journalists, human rights activists and others, and we’re doing what we can to help in this situation. To comment further would be counterproductive.”

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