Libya - Concern about two Tunisian journalists missing in eastern Libya

Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the fate of Tunisian journalists Sofiène Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, who went missing near Ajdabiya, in eastern Libya, on 8 September and were apparently abducted. RWB calls for their immediate release.

Chourabi is the host and producer of the programme “Dossiyates” for Tunisia’s First TV. He and Ktari, a photographer, went to Libya with the initial aim of covering the situation in the Tunisian-Libyan border region.

After being detained by a militia in Brega, in eastern Libya, on 6 September, they were released a day later. According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, they went missing near Ajdabiya the next day (8 September). There has been no word from them since then.

“We calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these two journalists,” said Olivia Gré, the head of the Reporters Without Borders bureau in Tunis. “The authorities and all those involved in the transitional process in Libya must do everything possible to ensure that they are able to return safely to Tunisia.”

Gré added: “The Tunisian authorities must support the mediation that has been initiated in order to speed the release of these two men. Our organizations supports the Chourabi and Ktari Support Committee set up by the National Tunisian Journalists’ Syndicate (SNJT) and the Arab Institute for Human Rights (IADH).”

First TV CEO Kais Mabrouk told Reporters Without Borders: “I assigned Sofiène Chourabi the task of going to Libya to purse his investigation. Sofiène is an investigative journalist who is well known for his professionalism.”

Reporters Without Borders Libya bureau chief Barbara Néault said: “Like Chourabi and Ktari, many journalists have unfortunately been abducted in Libya since it descended into its current state of all-out security chaos. This is the latest in a grim series of acts of violence against media personnel. Many journalists have had to flee abroad because the threats to their safety are so great.”