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Int'l press body condemns arrest of journalists in Libya

BRUSSELS, May 24 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Thursday strongly condemned the arrest of two organisers of an annual media award in Tripoli, Libya.
Armed men linked to the Government of National Accord (GNA), Lybia's internationally recognized government, have arrested Suleiman Qashout, chair of the Septimus Award board, and Mohamad Yaacoubi, director of the award, at a cafأ© in Tripoli's Hai Al-Andalous area on April 29, the IFJ said in a press release today.
The Septimus Award, named after the Roman emperor who was born in Libya, has been given annually since 2012 to Libyan media professionals, singers, and actors in a ceremony in Tripoli. It is sponsored by media groups and supported by the GNA's Ministry of Culture and Civil Society.
The IFJ called on Fayez Al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the GNA, to make sure the two journalists are released without delay.
"It is the government's responsibility to put an end to harassment, arbitrary detention, and intimidation of journalists in the territories under the GNA control," said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger.
"The safety and wellbeing of journalists in the country must be made a priority," he added.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents around 600,000 journalists across 146 countries worldwide. (end) nk.mt