The head of media authority of the Libyan government was on Tuesday arrested by a powerful armed group, Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade linked to the GNA. Mohammed Baayou was arrested alongside his two sons and another journalist, Hind Ammar of the al-Wataniya TV. The United Nations discredited and condemned his arrest, terming it as unlawful. They further demanded his immediate and unconditional release. Mohammad has created a good number of enemies for himself through his journalism career. He strongly goes against many Islamic groups and armed groups seeking power in the Libyan state.
Libya’s trail of violence
Dating back to 2011, the NATO-uprising overthrew and killed Gaddafi the Libyan Veteran leader. His death gave rise to conflicts in the country and more armed groups were later formed, which threatened the lives of the civilians. Consequently, two rival administrations were realized. The UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) under the leadership of prime minister Fayez al-Serraj on one side of the administration. They are faced with a rival administration associated with the rebel military commander, Khalifa Haftar.
Arbitrary arrests of media authority
Evidence of Baayou being held in the prison of this powerful armed group surfaced on social media. Although his two sons and the journalist arrested were released, his freedom is yet to be confirmed. Baayou sparked concerns to the Islamists and militia groups when he gave a report that targeted Haftar and his supporters. His appointment as the head of the GNAs information tool was met with opposition by the Islamist. Baayou was a threat to the Islamists as he threatened to end their official media control in Libya. In fact, he made it his agenda upon being granted his new role.
Protecting Libyan journalists
The Tripoli administration has yet to give its remarks concerning the arrest. However, the UN affirmed that the journalists go to greater lengths and bear immense risks in their line of duty. All this in the efforts to promote freedom of expression in the North African country. The US embassy also expressed its concerns over the matter. Like the UN, they will support the Libyan law and the protection of its journalist, as well as help to foster a right to freedom of expression in the country.