Here’s the full statement from the families of the 60 Minutes crew who remain detained in Lebanon

Tara Brown with a 60 Minutes crew shooting ‘Winning the War’. This is a general image and may not be crew involved in the case in Beruit. Photo: 9jumpin.com.au.

The families of the 60 Minutes crew who remain detained in Beirut, Lebanon, have spoken out for the first time since the botched attempt to recover Sally Faulkner’s two children.

Reporter Tara Brown and producer Stephen Rice, Benjamin Williamson and David Ballment, have spent nearly two weeks behind bars after four charges relating to kidnapping were formally filed against them.

They await trial on Monday where the judge will decide whether to uphold or dismiss the four charges, which attract a minimum sentence of three years imprisonment, or grant bail.

A joint statement was released by Channel Nine on behalf of Brown’s husband John McAvoy, Cara Williamson, Denise Rice, and Laura Battis who described the situation as “a living nightmare”.

“Some of us haven’t even told our children what’s happening yet. It’s not an easy conversation to have with a five or seven year old who ask as they go to sleep each night when mummy or daddy is coming home. Understandably we are all anxious and worried sick,” the statement read.

Despite this, the family members say that the “updates are daily” and that the team “are in good health, keeping their spirits up and are being well looked after by the Lebanese authorities”.

“But if we have one message it’s that people who have been so quick to judge should at least wait until all the facts are known,” they wrote.

“People forget that Tara, Stephen, Ben and Tangles were there doing a job; covering a story. As it turns out, a very important story. It’s what they do. It’s what they have been doing brilliantly for years.”

Here’s the statement in full below.

This is a living nightmare. It’s hard to imagine it could be any tougher. From what we know, they are in good health, keeping their spirits up and are being well looked after by the Lebanese authorities. You can’t imagine how comforting it is to know that. That is all that is getting us through at the moment.

We’ve formed our own crew back here because we are all in the same boat. Our natural instinct was to fly over and be there for them. Immediately. But our desire to be over there, possibly see them for ourselves and to give them our love and support has to be balanced against the advice from the people on the ground and that’s to stay here. We all have families here to care for and be with. But, thankfully we are getting some messages through.

Some of us haven’t even told our children what’s happening yet. It’s not an easy conversation to have with a five or seven year old who ask as they go to sleep each night when mummy or daddy is coming home. Understandably we are all anxious and worried sick. But this notion that we are somehow being kept in the dark or not receiving regular updates is beyond absurd. The updates are daily. And hugely valued. Nine is sharing whatever it knows as they hear about it. It is a day by day proposition, complicated by the fact that there is so little to go on and of course none of us are familiar with the Lebanese legal system.

People forget that Tara, Stephen, Ben and Tangles were there doing a job; covering a story. As it turns out, a very important story. It’s what they do. It’s what they have been doing brilliantly for years. Obviously, this time, something went wrong. But if we have one message it’s that people who have been so quick to judge should at least wait until all the facts are known. We haven’t spoken to our partners since before they were arrested. Very few of the facts are clear at this stage. If we don’t have all the facts, how can anyone else?

The analysis can come later. Right now, the only priority is getting them all home.

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