Thursday, March 01, 2012

Amnesty Urges Release of Press TV Reporters in Libya

Amnesty urges release of Press TV reporters

Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:8PM

Press TV’s journalist Nick Jones and his cameraman Gareth Johnson are still held captive by the Libyan militia despite the Amnesty International’s urgency for their release.

In the early hours of February 22, Libya’s Saraya Swehli militia arrested Nicholas Davies (Nick Jones) and his cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, along with two locals.

“Faraj Swehli [commander of the Saraya Swehli militia] and other militia commanders must understand that they cannot invent the law as they see fit, even under the banner of security concerns. They must turn over their detainees to the government,” a spokesman for HRW said.

An official at the Saraya Swehli militia told Human Rights Watch that the militia had stopped the men because they were driving late at night in Tripoli and taking photographs, which the militia found suspicious. Militia members later accused the two journalists of not having the proper immigration papers.

“If these journalists have immigration problems, then the appropriate Libyan authorities should deal with this, and not a self-appointed militia with no legal power to make arrests or hold detainees,” the spokesman for HRW said.

Human Rights Watch says it has been denied private interviews with the two journalists three times since they were captured.

This is while the National Transitional Council and the Justice Ministry granted Human Rights Watch access to all detention facilities. The Ministry of Interior also authorized the human rights body to visit any prisoner in private.

According to Amnesty International, the detention of Press TV’s two journalists is unlawful and that the militias must stop their illegal actions and close all their unlawful detention centers.

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