The Libyan Navy issues a statement on Wednesday, saying the hours-long detention of the four Libyan journalists who work for Reuters and Agence-France Presse (AFP) was exaggerated by media outlets and legal groups alike.
"Abu Sitta Naval Base's security personnel at the main gate were doing their duties when they detained the four journalists. There was a mere miscoordination between the security and the journalists, thus they were kept in the base for some hours and were dealt with very decently and respectfully," the media office of the Naval Base explained.
It added that they were later released and their equipment was intact, saying they were received by the Chief of Naval Force and other officials and "the issue was resolved."
"We were heading to Abu Sitta Naval Base in Tripoli to cover illegal immigration news and we were stopped by an armed group despite having permits to be there. We then were allowed to enter after showing our IDs, yet after the news coverage had ended, a different-uniform armed men came and took us to their commander, who said were entered the base illegally and confiscated our devises. He later ordered his group to detain us in a cell for over 10 hours." One of the journalists told reporters.
He added that when they were freed, the Navy spokesman Ayoub Qassim met them and extended an official apology for the misunderstanding that was caused by the working rota.
On Tuesday, the Libyan Center for Freedom of Press (LCFP) reported that a security bureau under the command of the Presidential Council's Interior Ministry freed the four Libyan journalists.
LCFP reminded on Twitter the Interior Minister Abdelsalam Ashour of the need to take precautions to protect journalists and to establish a friendly environment for dialogue between journalists and security personnel for the best interest of Libya.