Tripoli, Libya Hotel Holds Trapped Journalists



CNN, BBC and other correspondents were held inside the hotel without electricity or air-conditioning as rebel forces advanced.

NEW YORK - The Rixos in Tripoli is one of the Libyan capital's premier hotels, but over the weekend, it also became a prison for journalists stationed there to cover the civil war in the country.

The New York Times reported that journalists from CNN, the BBC and other news organizations were stuck inside the hotel without electricity or air-conditioning.

Government forces have refused to let journalists leave - except for trips into Tripoli conflict zones led by chaperones - and the battle outside may not allow them to get far, the paper said. Media and government officials have stayed at the hotel with the blessing of the regime of Moammar Gaddafi.

“It’s just become so dangerous being here,” said CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance, who has provided news updates via TV and Twitter.

Another option for foreign journalists was to trail rebel forces fighting their way through areas of Libya, the Times said.

By Sunday night, many Libyan officials had fled amid the rebels' advance, but armed men continued to prevent foreign journalists from leaving the Rixos, the paper said.

 Chance wrote via Twitter: “Running low on food and water.” Of being held captive, he said: “It’s no fun.”

Watch BBC's interview with Matthew Price below