Tripoli, 22 July:
Nabil Elalem, the president of Libya’s Olympic committee, was freed earlier today, one week after he was abducted from . . .[restrict]his car by armed gunman.
“He was released this morning and he is now back at his home”, Arafat Jwan, president of the Olympic Committee’s secretariat, told the Libya Herald.
“I cannot give further details, but the important thing is that he is OK now”.
No information regarding the whereabouts of Elalem emerged during the course of his detention, but there was speculation that his captors deliberately timed the abduction to maximise disruption ahead of the London Olympics, which begin this Friday.
Prior to last year’s uprising, Elalem served as deputy-president of the Olympic committee under Mohammed Qaddafi, the eldest of the former dictator’s seven sons, a relationship that has continued to generate anger in certain quarters.
A number of demonstrations were held calling for Elalem’s release last week, with fellow members of the Olympic committee, including the athletes preparing to compete at the London Olympics, insisting that he had their full support.
Hafid Gritly, who serves as director of the Olympic Committee, said that they had also received a letter from International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge saying the IOC would do all it could to help secure Elalem’s release.