Rights groups urge Libya to protect journalists

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Human rights organizations and The International Federation of Journalists have called on Libyan authorities to provide protection for Libyan journalists who have been the targeted by armed militias, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Thursday.

Threats against Libyan media outlets have been on the rise since Moammar Qaddafi’s regime was toppled in 2011.

Extremist armed militias in the country have targeted journalists and shelled and destroyed television stations they see as not serving their agendas and interests.

On Sunday, Islamist militiamen attacked the Tripoli studios of private television station Al-Assima which supports the Zintan nationalists and kidnapped its crew, the station said, adding that its equipment was destroyed and the crew went missing.

Fajr Libya militants have also raided the Libya international television channel and destroyed its equipment, looted it and attacked its employees.

Many local journalists have also been targeted by armed militias through abduction, physical attacks and even murder.

Human rights organizations cited this deteriorating situation to the security chaos in the country and to the ongoing political struggle. Reporters Without Borders have since the beginning of 2014 monitored 60 violations of media freedoms across the country, describing the situation in the country as bleak.

The international federation of journalists voiced its deep concern over journalists' freedoms and called on Libyan authorities to protect those who work in the media field.

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