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Sister's fears for Libya Britons

The sister of one of two British journalists held by a Libyan militia has urged the Government to keep up pressure over the case after they were accused of spying on facilities.

Nicholas Davies-Jones and Gareth Montgomery-Johnson were captured in the capital Tripoli on February 21 while working as freelancers with the Iranian state-owned Press TV.

The head of the militia holding them accused them of spying on government facilities and entering the country illegally.

Farah Swehli, who commands the Misrata-based Saraya Swehli militia, said his men must protect the country because the government is unable to do so.

Mr Montgomery-Johnson's sister Mel Gribble, of Carmarthen, said: "I wasn't expecting this, every bit of information that comes out at the moment is high anxiety-inducing, because the boys continue to be detained illegally. As time goes on, it's becoming ever more distressing.

"I'm assured that our Government is doing its very best, but we don't want them to dwindle on it, we want them to keep up the pressure like a broken record."

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa deputy director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said: "The detention of these journalists is unlawful and arbitrary, and their captors must either release them immediately or transfer them into the custody of the central Libyan authorities.

"If they are being held simply for breaching visa regulations, the central authorities should release them. For the rule of law to prevail in Libya, the militias must stop acting as a force outside the law and close their unlawful detention centres across the country.

"All those currently being held must be handed over to the central authorities to ensure proper judicial oversight."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are providing consular assistance to the two men. The embassy in Tripoli is doing everything that it can to assist the two individuals."


From Belfast Telegraph