There had been no confirmation Saturday that four journalists for The New York Times had been freed, a day after the newspaper reported that Libyan forces said they would release them.
The journalists, including Oklahoma City native Anthony Shadid, were detained by government forces during fighting last week in the eastern part of the country. Moammar Gadhafi has kept Western journalists under tight control, taking them on tours of towns he has seized.
Shadid's father, Buddy Shadid, journalist said late Saturday he was unsure why the release of the New York Times journalists' release had been delayed.
“Nobody seems to know what the holdup is,” he said.
The United States' participation in establishing a no-fly zone over Libya could be having an impact. “Everything is kind of in a confused state right now,” Buddy Shadid said. “They've got a lot more on their minds than these four journalsts right now.”
The newspaper is continuing to work to secure their release, and there has been no indication Libyan government officials have changed their minds about freeing the captives, Buddy Shadid said.
The journalists are in a safe house in Tripoli, Shadid said, adding that an American journalist had seen them and said they were in good health.
The release could happen today or it could be later, the father said.
“It will be a big relief to get them home,” he said.