Three Al Jazeera journalists were abducted by armed pro-Gaddafi forces on 8 March 2011 in Az-Zintan, 160km southwest of Tripoli, while trying to cross the border into Tunisia. Alkarama fears they are at high risk of torture given the way other international and national journalists have been treated by pro-Gaddafi forces.
Al Jazeera recently contacted Alkarama requesting that the three journalists' cases be submitted to the United Nations human rights special procedures.
Present concerns are all the relavent considering the recent treatment of both international and Libyan journalists since the uprising began in mid-February 2011. Alkarama is currently investigating the case of two journalists, Iraqi-native Ghaith Abdul Ahad, of The Guardian, and the Brazilian-born Andrei Netto O Estado de Sao Paulo. Their cases were submitted to the Special Rapporter on Torture following their arrests on 7 March 2011 fearing they would be tortured.
On the same day, three BBC journalists were arrested, one of whom was subjected to a mock execution (see here for more information).
Ahmed Fal Oueld Eddine, a Mauritanian national; Lotfi Al-Massoudi, a Tunisian national; and Omar Al-Hamdane, a Norwegien national, were reporting for Al Jazeera when they were arrested in Az-Zintan by pro-Gaddafi forces and disappeared as they were attempting to leave the country. They were arrested alongside a fourth colleague, of British nationality Omar Al-Tallou.
Since their arrest, they have completely disappeared. However, reports have surfaces that they may be detained in Tripoli, according to a CNN journalist who confirmed that a colleague had been detained alongside a Tunisian journalist, presumed to be Lotfi Al-Massoudi.
Alkarama condemns the pro-Gaddafi forces' treatment of journalists and bloggers, some of whom have been recently killed, such as Libyan blogger Mohamed Nabous.
Alkarama calls for pro-Gaddafi forces to respect the international ban on torture and ill-treatment and to ensure those who are detained be treated according to international standards; including the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Furthermore, pro-Gadaffi forces should allow journalists, both domestic and international, to freely cover the on-going events in Libya.
The three journalists should be immediately released, and Alkarama has subsequently called on the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to take action.
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