Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Two British journalists detained in Tripoli

According to a Misratan brigade commander Faraj al-Swehli the two British journalists detained in the country are being held on suspicion of spying. He said the men had entered Libya illegally and were carrying "incriminating evidence".

Al-Swehli added that the activities of reporter Nicholas Davies, 37, and cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, 36, both of whom were working for Iran's English-language TV station Press TV, were being investigated.

Human rights groups have called for their release.

Among the reported evidence found on the two men was a field dressing allegedly used by the Israeli military. Swehli told reporters that he believed the two men were spies, adding that his brigade was conducting an investigation into the matter.

He added: "After we have finished the investigation we are going to transfer them to the state authorities to pursue the legal process against them."

The two men were detained on 21 February while filming late at night on the streets of Tripoli. The preliminary accusation against them was that their immigration documents were not in order.

The Libyan authorities in Tripoli say they know nothing about the allegations of spying. The country's interim government and the British embassy's efforts to persuade the militia to release the men have been unsuccessful.

Sources: Reuters, BBC News, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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