CAIRO: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged the release of at least five kidnapped journalists and media workers affiliated with Albarqa private channel in a Friday statement.
“As the situation in Libya continues to deteriorate, we call on all parties to ensure that journalists are able to do their jobs getting information to the public, without fear of reprisal,” said the CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour.
Two journalists were kidnapped at a checkpoint in Tobruk city, eastern Libya according to the channel. News reports said that they were taken by an Islamic militant group after having covered the inauguration of the newly elected parliament.
Producer of Albarqa channel Faraj al-Maghraby told the CPJ that he witnessed the kidnapping, but managed to escape with a cameraman and the telecommunication engineer. He added that the kidnapped are correspondent Younis al-Mabrouk, news director Mohammed Galal, administrative worker Khaled al-Sabihi and two security guards.
Three other journalists were abducted last Friday in Al-Shohada Square in Tripoli in a Toyota car while they were covering demonstrations, reported al-Watan.
“We call on the militant groups holding journalists to stop trying to censor the news by snatching media crews off the street,” added Mansour.
A mission from the United Nations is starting peace talks in Tripoli Friday in an attempt to mediate to ceasefire between militant groups which turned the Libyan capital into a battlefield after the most violent battles since the fall of Muammar al-Gaddafi, Reuters reported.
The mission aims at stopping violence, helping the displaced people and solving the food products and fuel problems, the UN mission to Libya said in a statement in its website.
“The UN mission in Libya is working closely with the international community in joint pursuit to reach permanent ceasefire,” the statement said.