Two missing reporters held in Libya

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2011 9:42 AM
Two missing reporters held in Libya

TUNIS (Reuters) - A reporter from Britain's Guardian newspaper and a Brazilian colleague who went missing in Libya this week were arrested and imprisoned by government forces, Reporters Without Borders said on Thursday.

Guardian reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, an Iraqi national, and Andrei Netto from Brazilian newspaper Estado, were being held at an undisclosed location, the organization quoted an Estado editor as saying.

"All we know is that he (Netto) is well physically and that the Brazilian ambassador in Libya is on the spot to negotiate his release," said Luciana Constantino of Netto's newspaper.

Reporters Without Borders said the two were arrested on March 6 in the area of Zawiyah, the rebel-held western city under attack by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"They are currently detained," it said.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the detention and possible torture of a BBC news team which said on Wednesday it had been detained by Libyan security forces, beaten and subjected to mock execution after they were arrested at a checkpoint while on the way to Zawiyah.

"For them to be targeted, detained and treated with such cruelty, which could amount to torture, is completely unacceptable and in serious violation of international law," Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge, said.

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva)

(Writing by Douglas Hamilton; editing by Michael Roddy)