By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 7 August 2014:
Fathi Al-Arabi, a member for Janzour in the former General National Congress who was kidnapped on 20 . . .[restrict]July, has been freed in a reported swop for two TV journalists kidnapped last Friday. He was released last night.
Former Congressman Suleiman Zubi, from Benghazi, who was kidnapped with him on the capital’s Airport Road was also released in Tripoli – early this morning. But it is not clear if the two were freed by the same people.
Both were originally taken by Zintani Military Police.
Zubi, who is viewed as close to Muslim Brotherhood, was released a few hours after the abductions – because of his age and “out of respect for Cyrenaica” according to his captors. But not Arabi, a member of the Justice and Construction Party.
Zubi, though, again disappeared the next day. However, Zintani sources who admit their military held and yesterday released Arabi in exchange for the two TV journalists, insist they were not involved in Zubi’s second disappearance.
His release follows tragic news of his son’s death.
Buseif Suleiman Zubi, was found murdered yesterday in Benghazi’s Hawari district. A member of Saiqa Special Forces, he had been kidnapped in the city ten days ago.
The two reporters freed in last’s night’s swop are from Alaseema TV. Reporter Mohamed Habib and cameraman Ahmed Alwany were covering an anti-war protest in Martyrs Square last Friday when they were seized. Their abductors have not been named.
There has been an increase in attacks on journalists in Libya as both sides in the conflicts in Tripoli and Benghazi try to manipulate the news. The day after the two Alaseema staff were seized there was a reported attempt to shoot another member of the station’s staff, Muayad Khalifa.