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Guardian writer held in Libya freed

A Guardian journalist detained by the Libyan authorities has been released from captivity.

Iraqi national Ghaith Abdul-Ahad went missing two weeks ago after being picked up in the coastal town of Sabratha, in the north west of the country.

Confirming his release, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: "We're delighted that Ghaith has been released and is safely out of Libya.

"We are grateful to all those who worked behind the scenes to help free him after his ordeal."

Libyan authorities were holding Mr Abdul-Ahad along with Brazilian journalist Andrei Netto.

Netto was freed a week ago, but Libyan officials continued to hold the Guardian reporter.

At the time of their capture international press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders called for their immediate release, saying: "Journalists should not under any circumstances be made to pay for the fighting between government forces and rebels."

Mr Abdul-Ahad is a Guardian staff journalist who has written for the paper since 2004, spending extended periods in Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

His disappearance followed the disclosure that a BBC news team was detained and repeatedly beaten by the Libyan security forces after being accused of spying.

Three members of the corporation's Arabic staff were held for 21 hours in various military compounds where they were hooded, handcuffed, assaulted and subjected to a mock execution, the BBC said.


From Belfast Telegraph