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TRIPOLI: The owner and former director of a private Libyan television who were seized by gunmen in a raid on the channel’s headquarters were freed yesterday, the station said.
Unknown assailants stormed the building of Alassema TV on Thursday, abducting the owner Jomaa Al Osta and the former executive director Nabil Al Shebani, as well as four members of staff, including journalists and anchors. Alassema announced their release yesterday.
“Liberation of Joma Al Osta and Nabil Al Shebani,” a brief message said. Osta’s brother confirmed that the two men had been freed by their captors.
The staff members, who were all released soon after Thursday’s abduction, said the kidnappers were angry about the editorial policies of the TV station, which is known to be close to Libya’s liberal coalition that came ahead of Islamists in last July’s legislative elections.
Mohammed Al Sharkassi, an anchor at Alassema TV who was among those released, said the assailants “identified themselves as former rebels.”
They objected, in particular, to a draft law that would exclude from political life officials under the regime of former dictator Moamer Kadhafi, who was ousted and then slain in the 2011 uprising.