Journalist for Britain's Guardian freed in Libya: editor

16th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

An Iraqi journalist working for Britain's Guardian newspaper has been freed from detention in Libya and has safely left the country, editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger said Wednesday.

"Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad freed and safely out of Libya. Heartfelt thanks to all who helped free him," Rusbridger said in a Twitter message.

Libyan authorities picked up the award-winning journalist and a Brazilian reporter, Andrei Netto, on March 2 in the coastal town of Sabratha, a town 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Tripoli, according to the newspaper.

They were then moved to a prison on the outskirts of the capital.

The Brazilian was freed on March 10 but Libyan officials continued to hold Abdul-Ahad, despite protests from the newspaper.

"We're delighted that Ghaith has been released and is safely out of Libya. We are grateful to all those who worked behind the scenes to help free him after his ordeal," Rusbridger told the paper's online edition.

A well-informed source in Tripoli told AFP at the time that Abdul-Ahad had been arrested because he "entered the country illegally."

Abdul-Ahad has worked for the Guardian since 2004, reporting from Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan, the daily said.

He has won the British Press Awards foreign reporter of the year prize, and was shortlisted again this year.

© 2011 AFP

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