By Houda Mzioudet,
Tunis, 14, January, 2015:
Protestors demonstrated on the Tunisian side of the Ras Jedir border crossing today as confusion and rising . . .[restrict]anger continued to surround the fate of two kidnapped Tunisian journalists whom terrorist sources claim to have executed.
The Tunisian government has refused the resignation of its ambassador to Libya, Ridha Boukadi, whom campaigners for the two men had heavily criticised over his efforts to locate them.
Sofiane Chourabi, a presenter and producer with First TV Tunisia, and photographer Nadhir Gtari were originally abducted on 3 September, near Brega and held for three days before being released. Two days later, they were again seized, this time near Ajdabiya. Both areas are nominally in control of the government in Beida, which is why hopes were high that the men could be released.
However, ten days ago, there were suggestions that the two men had been murdered by Daesh. These reports were later backed up by pictures on Facebook, which purported to show the Tunisians just before they were shot.
Ambassador Boukadi had sought to defend his conduct of the search for the journalits, saying that negotiatioons for their release had been undertaken through “unofficial and secret” channels. He denied that he had quit the Tripoli embassy leaving the pair to their fate.
Tunisia’s consulate as well as its embassy have been closed since the summer fighting. It is estimated that of the original 140,000 Tunisians working in Libya before August’s fighting broke put, there are still between 60,000 and 80,000 in the country.
This article has been updated. It had wrongly stated that protestors had blocked the border crossing.