Tunisia calls on Libya to clarify journalists' fate, protestors rally in support-UPDATE

Tunisia holds Libya responsible for safety of journalists and demanded immediate action to determine fate of journalists.

Tunisia calls on Libya to clarify journalists' fate, protestors rally in support-UPDATE
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
 Tunisia's Foreign Ministry on Friday urged Libyan authorities to take immediate action to determine the fate of two Tunisian journalists kidnapped in Libya last September.

"Tunisia's Foreign Ministry holds the Libyan authorities fully responsible for the safety of Tunisian citizens in Libya," the ministry declared in a statement.

It also called on Libyan authorities to "take immediate action to determine the fate of the journalists and implement the relevant bilateral and regional legal agreements."

On Thursday, sources close to the militant ISIL group in Libya's eastern town of Barca announced that the group had executed Tunisian journalists Sefian Shawarbi and Nazir al-Qatari.

The pair was abducted in Libya last September while working for Tunisia's privately-owned "First" TV channel.

Libya has largely remained in a state of lawlessness since the 2011 ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

 

Tunisians rally in support of abducted journalists
 
The National Union for Tunisian Journalists on Friday staged a demonstration in capital Tunis to demand the truth regarding two Tunisian journalists kidnapped in Libya last September.

Dozens of reporters and activists waved banners to show solidarity with the abducted journalists and called for their immediate release, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.

"Our demonstration today is meant to show solidarity with our colleagues, Sefian Shawarbi and Nazir al-Qatari," Naji Baghouri, the head of Tunisia's journalists' syndicate, told AA.

"It [the rally] is a clear response to terrorist organizations that they won't deter us and that we will never give up defending freedom of speech and expression," Baghouri said.

"We support Sefian and Nazir and demand that the truth be revealed regarding their fate and that they be returned safely to Tunisia," he added.

He went on to say that the syndicate was in touch with the Tunisian authorities – along with several Libyan backchannels – in hopes of determining the pair's whereabouts.

Sami al-Qatari, the father of Nazir al-Qatari, told AA that he had "urged the government of [former Tunisian] Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa to… take the matter seriously."

"It is a life-and-death situation," he said. "We're in a race against the clock."

"It's been 128 days since their abduction and we've yet to locate them, despite the fact that Tunisia possesses all the means necessary for finding them," the senior al-Qatari said.

On Thursday, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group in Libya's eastern town of Barca announced that it had executed the two journalists, according to a statement disseminated by several Jihadists websites and which included photos of the two men.

The purported ISIL statement has not been independently verified, however, while the Tunisian government has yet to receive any clear information regarding the two men's fate.

The pair was abducted in Libya last September while working for Tunisia's privately-owned "First" TV channel.

Libya has largely remained in a state of lawlessness since the 2011 ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

 

Last Mod: 10 Ocak 2015, 09:51
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