By Sami Zaptia.
London, 28 February 2021:
Journalist, Ziad Al-Wirfaly, was released today after disappearing for 60 hours. Al-Wirfaly had been covering Thursday’s Tripoli press conference by prime minister designate of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba.
Al-Wirfaly had asked Aldabaiba whether his government was going to seek the release of Qaddafi’s son, Hannibal Qaddafi, held in Lebanon.
Soon after, his TV channel, Al-Ghad, reported he was not contactable.
The Foreign Media Department at the Tripoli based Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed today the release of Al-Wirfaly and the photographer accompanying him.
The statement said the arrest of the journalist and the photographer was carried out by a ‘‘competent security authority due to the absence of a work permit or a permit from the Foreign Media Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this journalist and photographer, which is contrary to the law and regulations in force inside Libya’’.
It added that, ‘‘After completing the necessary investigations from the security authorities, the journalist undertook to communicate with his media organization to present all the documents required to complete his legal procedures’’.
The Foreign Media Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated its call to all foreign journalists and media institutions to communicate with the administration and to take the necessary statements to facilitate their media duties inside the Libyan territories.
The general perception in Libya, however, is that he was arrested because he represented a pro Qaddafi TV channel and that he dared ask a question at a live press conference about the release of Hannibal Qaddafi.