Nazhuri to release Marj journalist says Beida government official

By Gabriel Harrison.

Chief of Staff and military governor Nazhurii (file photo).

LNA chief of staff  Abdul Razzaq Nazhurii (File photo)

Tunis, 10 September 2017:

A Marj journalist arrested by the Libyan National Army (LNA) apparently for criticising its chief of staff, Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri, is reportedl to be on the verge of release after an intervention from the interim government in Beida.

Hussein Rajab, who covers politics on Marj’s local radio station, has used his social media page to champion press freedom. He was arrested last week by men from the LNA .

Rajab’s detention was criticised by the Libyan Centre for Freedom of Expression. This April Reporters without Borders ranked Libya 163 out of 180 counties it assessed for their degree press freedom.

The intervention to free Rajab has been made by Khaled Najem,  head of the media and culture authority in the government of Abdullah Thinni.

Najem put out a statement today saying that Nazhuri had agreed to Rajab’s release. Thanking him, Najem added: “ Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri has stressed his support for the freedom of opinion and expression and the contribution criticism plays in correcting the state”.

In March 2016 a popular blogger, also from Marj, disappeared with two friends. Ali Asbali had been critical of the authorities. Initially there was no information on the abduction. However, two months later the trio was released from Benghazi’s Gernada prison where they had been held.

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