By Houda Mzioudet.
Tunis, 31 May 2015:
The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that all the Tunisians detained in Libya since . . .[restrict]16 May have now been now released.
The ministry did not say how many Tunisians have been freed. Originally 172 Tunisians were said to have been detained in Tripoli following the arrest in Tunis of a Libya Dawn militia commander. But it has been impossible to discover the real figure. Just over a week ago, the Tunisian Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche said that over 100 had been released while a ministry official said that there were just a few dozens left and they would be freed soon.
However, a Libyan official has put the figure of those detained at 245 while illegal migration unit director Mohamed Abdelsalam Gawairi was quoted by AFP saying that 90 Tunisians were released yesterday, Saturday, and 71 others were freed on Thursday. He claimed they had been detained to investigate their status in Libya.
Families of detained Tunisians had appealed to the Tunisian government to secure the their relatives’ release, telling the Tunisian media that they had information confirming that the detainees were held by gunmen and not because of investigations into residency laws. They also said that the number exceeded 300.
Meanwhile, the Tunisian consul in Tripoli, Ibrahim Al-Rizgi, met today with the GNC’s deputy president Awad Abdul-Sadiq, to discuss a number of issues which are believed to have included safeguarding the rights of Tunisians in Libya and the fate of the two Tunisian journalists Sofiane Chourabi and Nadhir Gtari. They were kidnapped last September and reported a month ago to have been executed by IS.bnpressing issues.
On Friday, the Tunisian Foreign Minister met with UN envoy Bernardino Leon in Tunis and asked him use his best offices with Libyan officials “to help clarify” the fate of the two men. [/restrict]