Journalist Kidnapped in Libyan Capital

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On Monday, the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) voiced its deep concern over reports that the Deputy Head of its media office, journalist Mohamed Ali Al-Rajhi has been kidnapped in Tajoura. He was reportedly arrested by gunmen affiliated with the so-called Anti-Witchcraft and Sorcery Unit of the General Authority for Endowments and Islamic Affairs in Tajoura.

In a statement, the Commission denounced the kidnapping of Al-Rajhi, calling on the Presidential Council and the Interior Minister to immediately intervene. According to a statement, it urged the country’s Attorney General to open a comprehensive investigation into the “transgressions, crimes, and illegal practices of the General Authority for Endowments and Islamic Affairs, and its offices in the cities of Zawiya, Tajoura, Tripoli, Derna, and Benghazi.”

It also called for urgent action to protect “basic rights, safety, security, and freedoms of all citizens in general and journalists, media personnel, bloggers, activists, and human rights defenders in particular.”

The NCHRL also called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to act urgently and condemn Al-Rajhi’s kidnapping.

In October, the Head of Libyan Media Office, Mohamed Baio and his two sons were kidnapped in Tripoli by an armed militia, before being released in November. The United States and UNSMIL condemned his unlawful detention and reaffirmed their support for the rule of law, the protection of journalists, ‎and the freedom of expression of all Libyans.