By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 12 August 2013:
Benghazi journalist Khadija Al-Amami was shot at today by unknown gunmen. They missed but then sent . . .[restrict]her an SMS message saying they would kill her next time if she did not stop reporting.
Al Amani, who is director of Benghazi office of Libya Al-Ahrar TV as well as working for Libya Mostakbal, told the Libya Herald that she was driving in Sidi Khrebish today to work when a car pulled up beside her and started shooting. However, the bullets hit a wall next to the road and the attackers drove off.
“I couldn’t concentrate to see the car,” she said. “After they shot at me, I stopped. People in the street came to check that I was all right.” She then drove on to work.
Later, she said, she received an SMS saying “We missed you this time, but we’re going to kill you next time if you do not stop your journalism.”
She says she does not know who the attackers were. She is not sure if they intended to kill. She thinks the missed shots may have been deliberate. “They may have been trying to frighten me,” she said.
Three days ago, Izzaldin Qasaad, a young TV presenter for the Libya Alhurra TV channel was killed in a drive-by shooting as he left a mosque in Benghazi’s Sidi Hussain district. The killers remain unknown although it has been reported that he received a death threat three days earlier saying he would be killed if he delivered a speech celebrating Eid al-Fitr. It was after he gave the speech that he was shot dead after leaving the local mosque after Friday prayers.
Another journalist, Osama Audairi, was shot in the hand outside a bank in Ajdabiya on Saturday. It is not known if he too was deliberately targeted or was an accidental victim of a random shooting.
In response to Qasaad’s murder, Reporters Without Borders said that Libya was becoming an “increasingly dangerous and unstable” place for members of the media and demanded that the Libyan authorities urgently put into place legislative and judicial measures to protect the rights of journalists and guarantee freedom of press. [/restrict]