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Three journalists under investigation for publishing articles on corruption

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the recent summoning of three journalists from Benghazi by the Libyan judiciary. The journalists, Atef Al-Atrash and Khalid Mohair, are under investigation for defamation after reports were filed against them because they reported on financial and administrative corruption.

The lawsuit was filed by Bu Ateniy Beverages in Benghazi. The journalists published articles in some e-newspapers where they criticized what they described as acts of financial and administrative corruption in the company, in addition to revealing that the company had expired materials in stock.

Meanwhile, in another case, journalist Mohamed Suraiti was surprised by the chief prosecutor of Benghazi, who informed him that he was being summoned to Tripoli for an investigation regarding a case in which Suraiti is accused of publishing articles exposing incidents of sexual harassment at Benghazi Care House. The articles were published in the "Jeel" newspaper, Al-Jazeera online and other electronic newspapers. Although the Human Rights Commission confirmed the incidents in a statement, more than a year after the conclusion of the case, the secretary-general of the General Cultural Institute ordered that the investigations be resumed, said Suraiti.

ANHRI believes that the Libyan prosecutor should have investigated the accusations of corruption and published the results in line with its commitment to the principles of transparency, rather than summon and investigate journalists because of their work.

ANHRI calls on journalists in Libya and the Arab world to condemn the constraints and security threats against journalists in Libya. ANHRI also calls on Arab and international press-freedom organizations to support these journalists and their right to express their opinions. The Libyan judiciary should not be involved in press freedom struggles.

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