Tunisian interior minister says journalists alive

Tunisian interior minister says journalists alive
Two Tunisian journalists kidnapped last month are believed to be alive, despite IS declaring in January they had been killed.
2 min read
04 February, 2015
Tunisian Minister of Interior in the caretaker government has declared Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nazir al-Qatari alive.

Lotfi Ben Jeddo said he was in contact with his Libyan counterpart to solve the hostage crisis [AR].

The two journalists went missing on 8 September 2014 in eastern Libya working for First TV, a local Tunisian network.

On 8 January 2015 a website [AR] affiliated to the Libyan branch of the Islamic State group (IS, formerly Isis) claimed they had been murdered.

Mustafa Abdul Kabir, a human rights activist has also confirmed the pair are alive. The activist said he was working with Libyan parties to secure their release.

"The Tunisian interior ministry has not done enough to secure the release of the kidnapped journalists," Sofiene Chourabi's uncle Rajab told al-Araby al-Jadeed. He said the interior minister had announced two months earlier the hostages would be released, but nothing happened.

Many official and nonofficial parties have worked to secure the pair's release. The hostages' families and the National Union of Tunisian Journalists have put pressure on the Tunisian government to resolve the situation by organising demonstrations and vigils.

However, the hostages' relatives are counting on nonofficial channels. Praising the role of civil society organisations who are using unofficial channels to contact Libyan tribes, Rajab said the coming days were likely to bring good news.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.