The Surrey-based family of a freelance photographer have spoken of the ‘unbelievable trauma’ of learning that he was apparently shot and killed on the day he went missing six weeks ago.
Anton Hammerl, 41, had South African and Austrian citizenship but lived in Surbiton with his wife Penny Sukhraj and their children – now aged seven and three months.
Yesterday four journalists including Briton Nigel Chandler were released by the Libyan authorities. The others were Americans Clare Morgana Gillis and James Foley and Spanish photographer Manu Brabo.
It has now emerged that Hammerl was with Foley and Gillis when he was shot and killed by forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.
In a statement his family saidd: ‘On 5 April Anton was shot by Gaddafi’s forces in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert.
“According to eyewitnesses, his injuries were such that he could not have survived without medical attention. Words are simply not enough to describe the unbelievable trauma the Hammerl family is going through.”
On World Press Freedom Day, 6 May, Anton Hammerl’s family and friends held a candle-lit vigil at St Brides Church, Fleet Street, to pray for his release.
The family had been led to believe that he was well and not in danger though there had been no communication with him.