Guardian journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad released

Guardian journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has been released two weeks after being arrested and detained without charge by the Libyan authorities.

He was arrested in the coastal town of Sabratha, near Zawiyah, on 2 March with a Brazilian journalist who was released last week. Their arrests came as the Libyan authorities made strenuous efforts to stop any media coverage of the nearby, then rebel-held, town of Zawiyah which came under heavy attack from Gaddafi forces as it was retaken.

Three BBC journalists were arrested last Monday outside Zawiyah and held for 21 hours at various military compounds by Gaddafi security forces. They were savagely beaten and subject to mock executions.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: ‘We are 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.”

Meanwhile four New York Times journalists are now missing in Libya.

A cameraman from Al Jazeera was killed on Saturday after covering rebel protests near the rebel-held town of Benghazi. The network said they believed he was deliberately targeted in an attempt to silence it.

In 2009 Abdul-Ahad was one of three journalists working for The Guardian kidnapped in Afghanistan and held for a week. At the time the Guardian said it put into place an emergency plan and ‘engaged professional advisers in the UK and Afghanistan’to help secure the release of its staff.

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