News Providers Targeted in Libya

They ordered the journalists to get out of their cars at gunpoint. Another of the cars, carrying the station manager, a technician and cameraman, managed to drive off despite coming under fire. Editor Khaled Al-Sibihi, presenter Yunes Al-Mabrouk Al-Moghrabi, reporters Abdelsalam Al-Moghrabi and Yussef Al-Qumudi, and Egyptian video editor Mohamad Jalal were abducted. There has been no news of them since.

On 4 August, the “special deterrence force” militia led by the Islamist Abdel Raouf Kara, urged the staff of the government television station Al-Wataniya not to broadcast parliament’s inauguration ceremony. To make sure, they made everyone leave the building. According to two Al-Wataniya employees, the man in charge of the attack, Abdalazim Al-Shahrani, ordered the staff not to report any events surrounding the new parliament but ordered them to support “Operation Libyan Dawn”, launched on 13 July by fighters from Misrata with the aim of seizing control of Tripoli airport from rival militiamen from Zintan.

Three days earlier, three employees of the satellite station Al-Assima were abducted in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square after covering a demonstration protesting against the fighting in the capital. According to one staffer, three black Toyotas without plates seized the crew as they were putting away their equipment.

Correspondent Mohamed Abdelrazaq Hussein, cameraman Ahmed Hussein Al-Ulawni and producer Ahmed Mohamed Al-Jihad were taken to an unknown location before being released five hours later in the middle of the night. The TV station said in a statement that the three men were believed to have been held at the Mitiga air base, controlled by Misrata-allied Islamist forces. They were understood to have been tortured and had their heads shaved by their abductors.

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