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6 journalists arrested and freed on same day by Libyan army

Journalists attend a press conference on 25 September 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Journalists attend a press conference on 25 September 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Six journalists were released yesterday evening by the Libyan National Army (LNA) after they were arrested earlier in the day.

The journalists had come mainly from Tripoli and had gone to the southwestern town of Hun to cover the town’s annual date festival.

One of those arrested said that soldiers had arrived at their hotel on Monday morning and had taken them to Jufra military base, the Libya Herald reported.

“We were told by them that we are not being accused of anything in particular, but they just wanted to know how banned TV channels had managed to get into the town,” the journalist explained.

Read: Tunisian journalists faced 100 attacks in the last six months

Libya has been gripped by lawlessness and a lack of a national authority since long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011. Since then Libya has been divided between east and west with each part having its own government and the army and claiming to have legitimacy.

Journalists in Libya have faced attacks, kidnappings, and murder by different armed groups acting with impunity. Various rights groups have raised concerns about the country’s deteriorating media landscape and the lack of investigations when crimes happen.

Libya is currently ranked in 163rd place out of 180 countries in the Press Freedom Index for press freedoms in the world.

Around 3,000 Tunisians have joined Daesh’s ranks fighting in Libya, as well as in Syria and Iraq, according to Tunisian officials, however according to the United Nations the figure could be as high as 5,000.

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