Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that two British journalists who work for Iran’s state-owned English-language TV station Press TV were released yesterday in Tripoli after being detained for nearly four weeks.
Reporter Nicholas Davies-Jones and cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson appeared at a news conference held by the interior ministry yesterday evening in Tripoli and were then driven to the British embassy.
They and their two Libyan assistants were arrested in Tripoli on 21 February by Saraya Swehli, a Misrata-based militia led by Faraj Swehli. The militia said it detained them for filming at night, entering the country illegally and suspected espionage.
After repeated requests, the militia finally handed the two journalists over to the interior ministry on 15 March.
29.02.2012 - Militia holding two British journalists urged to surrender them to competent authorities
Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the continuing detention of two British TV journalists, reporter Nicholas Davies-Jones and cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, who were arrested in Tripoli on 21 February by a Misrata-based militia and are still being held by the same militia.
According to Human Rights Watch, three Libyans who were accompanying the journalists were also arrested.
The journalists, freelancers who mainly work for Iran’s state-owned English-language TV news station Press TV, were arrested by Saraya Swehli, a militia led by Faraj Swehli, while driving around Tripoli late at night taking photos, Human Rights Watch said.
“These two journalists are being detained arbitrarily and in an utterly illegal manner,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They must be handed over to the competent Libyan authorities as a matter of urgency for examination of their situation. This state of anarchy and lawlessness has gone on too long.”
The militia refused to surrender the journalists to the interior ministry on 26 February.