Tripoli, 25 August:
Three journalists from the Al-Assema television station were detained by the Supreme Security Committee this afternoon in relation to . . .[restrict]their coverage of the destruction of the Al-Sha’ab mosque in Tripoli.
The incident, a clear violation of press freedom in Libya, has been widely condemned as contrary to the principles of the 17 February revolution.
Suspected Salafists vandalised the mosque early this morning, apparently because of its status as a venerated Sufi shrine.
The shrine was then completely destroyed, allegedly on the orders of the Interior Ministry, following evidence of “black magic at the site”. Worshippers were said to have previously prayed at tombs buried beneath the mosque.
The SSC sought to cordon off the site throughout the demolition and were hostile to any attempts by journalists to cover the situation.
Following their coverage of the event, Al-Assema’s managing director, Nabil Shebani, together with two reporters, were called to the SSC for interrogation.
Shebani was released late this evening, but it is not yet known if the two reporters have also been freed.