British journalists handed over in Libya
Wednesday 14 March 2012
Two British journalists held by a Libyan militia after they were accused of spying have been transferred to the custody of the government, the Foreign Office said.
Nicholas Davies-Jones and Gareth Montgomery-Johnson were captured in the Libyan capital Tripoli on February 22 while working as freelancers with the Iranian state-owned Press TV.
They were detained by the Misrata-based Saraya Swehli brigade, one of the dozens of militias which helped force out Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last year.
The Foreign Office said Libyan authorities confirmed the pair have been handed over by the militia group.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Throughout the period they have been detained, we have been in regular contact with the Libyan authorities, the men and their families.
"The authorities have confirmed the men have been handed over to the Libyan government."
The militia group released a video of the two Britons yesterday, in which they apologised for entering the North African country illegally.
In the video message, which Mr Davies-Jones dated as March 12, the journalists said they were being treated well.
They appeared calm and in good physical shape as they spoke sitting on a couch. It was not clear if they were speaking freely and there was no reference to the spying allegations.
International rights campaigners, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, had called on the militia either to release the men immediately or transfer them to the custody of the official Libyan authorities.
Last week, Mr Montgomery-Johnson's sister Mel Gribble, of Carmarthen, urged the British Government to keep up pressure over the case.
She said: "I'm assured that our Government is doing its very best, but we don't want them to dwindle on it, we want them to keep up the pressure like a broken record."
Libya's new leaders are trying to rebuild the nation's security force and rein in militias following last year's civil war.
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...