By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 4 May 2016:
The mystery of the popular Marj blogger and his two friends who disappeared in the . . .[restrict]town at the end of March deepened today when it was reported that one of the friends has been released from Benghazi’s Gernada prison.
Ali Asbali went missing from his home along with Ahmed Hawaz and Myar Al-Aurifi at the end of March. Alwasat today reported that Aurufi has been released from the Benghazi jail and had said that his two friends were still being held there but were in good health.
It is being claimed that the trio were seized on 28 March by three armed men in military uniforms who drove them away in a black Chevrolet. At the time an army spokesman denied that the authorities had arrested the young men. It was suggested that they had travelled to Ajdabiya to be with Ibrahim Jadhran.
Asbali had once been an enthusiastic supporter of Armed Forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter. However he had become increasingly critical of Hafter and the army and what he said was a clamp-down on freedom of expression. Instead he praised the Petroleum Facilities Guard commander Jadhran. Since his disappearance, Asbali has posted no blogs.
Because it houses Hafter’s headquarters, Marj is arguably the most heavily-controlled town in Libya. Hafter has survived one serious attempt on his life on October 2014. It seemed extraordinary that the three young men could be kidnapped in the midst of such security but the authorities know nothing about it.
If the report is true that Aurifi has been released from Gernada prison and that Asbali and Hawaz are still being detained there, then it would seem likely that the trio were arrested by people in authority and taken to the prison. This makes it hard to understand the Army’s original denial that the men had been seized. [/restrict]