A Norwegian journalist has been recaptured by Libyan authorities just hours after being released from detention in the war-torn country. Al-Jazeera and Ny Tid reporter Ammar Al-Hamdam and his three colleagues were taken back into custody last Thursday shortly after they were freed due to diplomatic pressure.
There were hopes that the 33 year-old and his team of Mauritian, Tunisian and British crew members would return to Norway, but they were seized again at the Tunisian embassy by police who claimed they required additional time for questioning. According to the VG news agency, the eldest son of embattled dictator Muammar Gaddafi ordered the arrests of the Al-Jazeera team because he deemed their coverage of the ongoing civil war in Libya to be biased, The Foreigner reported.
Speaking to VG, Sammir Shatara, a colleague of Mr Al-Hamdan, said he is deeply concerned about the safety of the film crew. “I am worried about them. The Libyan authorities are crazy and can do whatever they want. They promised that they would set him free, but now I cannot get hold of him,” he said.
Dag Herbiornsrud, the editor of Ny Tid where Al-Hamadan also works, said in a report by NTB that fears for the reporter remain. “Like everyone who stays in Tripoli, he’s under Gaddafi’s control until he crosses the border,” he said.