Clare Morgana Gillis, Manu Brabo
Darko Bandic  /  AP
Freed American freelance journalist Clare Morgana Gillis, left and Spanish photographer Manu Brabo arrive at a hotel in Tripoli on Wednesday.
updated 5/18/2011 3:03:45 PM ET 2011-05-18T19:03:45

Four foreign journalists held by the Libyan government for six weeks were released Wednesday and moved to a Tripoli hotel.

Clare Morgana Gillis, an American, said she and her colleagues — American James Foley, Spaniard Manuel Varela and Briton Nigel Chandler — were in good health.

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The four appeared at the Rixos Hotel, which is housing foreign journalists assigned to Tripoli, a day after the Libyan government said it had given them a one-year suspended sentence on charges of illegally entering the country.

Gillis, a freelance journalist who wrote for The Atlantic and USA Today; Foley who wrote for the Boston-based news agency GlobalPost, and Varela, a photographer who works under the name Manu Brabo, were detained on April 5 near the town of Brega. Foley's family is from Rochester, N.H., and Gillis' parents live in New Haven. Conn.

Chandler, a British freelance journalist, was detained separately.

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Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim invited the four to stay in Libya but said they would be escorted to the Tunisian border to exit the country if they wished.

There was no word on the fate of photojournalist Anton Hammerl, who has South African and Austrian citizenship and went missing in Libya about the time the others were detained.

Gillis said she had not seen him.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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