Gunmen storm Tripoli TV station, still holding two people

Published on Friday 8 March 2013.

Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s attack by gunmen on the Tripoli headquarters of the pro-liberal, privately-owned TV station Al-Assema and voices deep concern about the fate of its owner, Jomaa Al-Osta and its former executive director, Nabil Shebani, who were taken away by the gunmen when they left.

Osta and Shebani were among a total of eight people initially kidnapped by the group of gunmen when they overran the TV station yesterday afternoon. The others – Al-Assema journalists and journalists employed by other Libyan media – were all later released.

Shebani, who no longer works for the station, was there by chance.

The identity of the gunmen, their reasons of attacking the TV station and the location where they are holding Osta and Shebani are not known. Reporters Without Borders urges the Libyan authorities to take all necessary measures to obtain their release.

Al-Assema presenter Mahmoud Al-Sharkassi, who was one of those released shortly after the attack, described it to another privately-owned TV station, Libya Al-Ahrar. Link

The National Assembly’s human rights committee has condemned the attack.

Al-Assema TV supports the liberal coalition led by Mahmoud Jibril that came ahead of the Islamists in the July 2012 parliamentary elections.