Libya authorities free journalists detained after PM presser

February 28, 2021 GMT

CAIRO (AP) — Authorities in western Libya on Sunday released two local journalists who had been detained in the capital last week following a news conference with the prime minister.

Libyan television journalist Ziyad al-Warfali and a video journalist disappeared after the conference with newly appointed Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah late Thursday.

The Libyan media authority a statement the two journalists working for the al-Ghad al-Arabi television network were detained because they had not obtained the proper work permit required for journalists in Libya.

The authority did not identify the video journalist whose detention was not mentioned before.

The two were released Sunday after authorities concluded their investigation, the media authority said. It did not say which of Libya’s many, often competing, security agencies detained them.

Dbeibah, the prime minister-designate, also tweeted their release, saying he was relieved. He posted a photo showing him shaking hands with al- Warfali.

The Libyan capital is controlled by an array of armed groups and militias, loosely allied with a U.N.-supported government. Those militias have proved difficult for the Tripoli government to control in the past.

Libya plunged into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppledMoammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The county has since been split between rival east- and west-based administrations, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.