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Free the four
Release Al Jazeera journalist held in Libya
Al Jazeera demands the immediate release of a cameraman still being detained by Gaddafi's forces.
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2011 12:18

Al Jazeera cameraman Ammar Al-Hamdan has been released after 16 days' incarceration in Libya.

His freedom comes after Libyan authorities released Al Jazeera correspondent Ahmad val ould Eddin, who was handed over to the head of the African Union delegation that visited Tripoli on Monday.

Another journalist, Lotfi Al Masoudi, was freed on April 3.  

Camerman Kamel Al-Tallou remains in custody. 

On March 31, Libyan authorities re-arrested the four Al Jazeera journalists just hours after they were released.

They had been detained earlier by the authorities near Zintan, in the northwest of the country, and then imprisoned in Tripoli for three weeks.

Their second incarceration came after Al Masoudi told Tunisian radio station Jawhara FM in a telephone interview that they had been released and that they had been treated well in detention.

Al Masoudi, a Tunisian national, was re-taken along with Ahmad val ould Eddin, a Mauritanian national, Ammar Al-Hamdan, a Norwegian national of Palestinian descent, and Kamel Al Tallou, a British citizen.

Libyan authorities have not provided any information about why or where the journalists are being held.

"We call on Libyan authorities to release the Al Jazeera journalists and all other journalists that they or their forces are holding," Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said.


RELEASED: Ahmad val ould Eddin first joined Al Jazeera in 2008. He worked as a correspondent in South Africa for a couple of years before he returned to the newsroom in Doha. He reported on Africa, which led him to cover Libya during the recent uprising. A Mauritanian, he has two daughters, Layla and Lubna. He writes a blog called "Kounach", in which he collects articles he published in several newspapers. He is a passionate reader of Arabic poetry, especially by Al-Mutanabbi.
RELEASED: Lotfi Al Masoudi joined Al Jazeera from CNBC Dubai in March 2007 and started off as a presenter for Al Jazeera Sport. He is a native of Kairouan, Tunisia, and his main professional goal has been to make sure that Al Jazeera stays at the forefront of the news industry. This devotion took him to Libya to cover the conflict there as a correspondent. Lotfi is 34, married, and has a 2-year-old son named Mohamad Khalil. Lotfi and his wife Amira hope to have a family reunion soon.

DETAINED: Kamel Al-Tallou joined Al Jazeera as a cameraman recently, driven by his passion for journalism despite his medical education and background as a doctor. Al-Tallou studied medicine in Tripoli before working as a doctor in England until 2009. Kamel, a 43-year-old UK citizen, is married with three sons and one daughter.
 
RELEASED: Ammar Al-Hamdan is a Norwegian cameraman with a multicultural background. He is of Palestinian origin but born and raised in Baghdad. Al-Hamdan is married a Norwegian journalist and has worked in Al Jazeera's Oslo bureau since 2006.

Since Libya's revolt began in February, CPJ has documented more than 60 attacks on the press, including two fatalities, more than 33 detentions, two attacks on news facilities, numerous instances of equipment confiscation, three cases of obstruction, the jamming of satellite news transmissions, and the interruption of internet service.

On March 12, Ali Hassan Al Jaber, an Al Jazeera cameraman, was killed in an ambush while returning to Benghazi after filing a report from an opposition protest.

During the crackdown, Libyan authorities have targeted four New York Times journalists and a Guardian correspondent.

And at least seven local journalists who spoke critically of government policies remain missing amid wide speculation that they are being held by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's embattled leader.

Al Jazeera released a statement on March 30 calling for the immediate release of its journalists. The call was signed by a foray of international organisations.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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