Reporters Without Borders (RWB) said Monday it is very concerned about the fate of the Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, who are missing near Ajdabiya, in eastern Libya, since September 8.
The press freedom body called for the immediate release of the two hostages.
Chourabi is the host and producer of the programme "Dossiyates" for Tunisia's First TV. He and Ktari, a photographer, went to Libya with the initial aim of covering the situation in the Tunisian-Libyan border region, according to RWB statement published on September 19 and updated today.
After being detained by a militia in Brega, in eastern Libya, on September 6, they were released a day later, and then they went missing near Ajdabiya; there has been no word from them since then.
"We calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these two journalists," said Olivia Gre, the head of the Reporters Without Borders bureau in Tunis. "The authorities and all those involved in the transitional process in Libya must do everything possible to ensure that they are able to return safely to Tunisia.
"The Tunisian authorities must support the mediation that has been initiated in order to speed the release of these two men. "Our organizations supports the Chourabi and Ktari Support Committee set up by the National Tunisian Journalists' Syndicate (SNJT) and the Arab Institute for Human Rights (IADH)," Gre added.
First TV CEO Kais Mabrouk told RWB: "I assigned Sofiene Chourabi the task of going to Libya to purse his investigation. Sofiene is an investigative journalist who is well known for his professionalism." Meanwhile, RWB Libya bureau chief Barbara Neault said: "Like Chourabi and Ktari, many journalists have unfortunately been abducted in Libya since it descended into its current state of all-out security chaos. "This is the latest in a grim series of acts of violence against media personnel. Many journalists have had to flee abroad because the threats to their safety are so great," she added.