TWO WELSHMEN DETAINED IN LIBYA ARE UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR SPYING.

Nicholas Davies, a reporter known professionally as Nick Jones, and Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, a cameraman, both Welsh freelancers for the Iranian television station Press TV, were arrested in Tripoli late last month, and are the subjects of an espionage investigation, according to Sadoon Alswehle, commander of the Misratan militiamen holding them. The two British citizens were being detained in Tripoli at the Gaddafi era Women’s Military Academy. In the account provided by Alswehle, Davies and Montgomery-Johnson, as well as two Libyan coworkers, were filming close to Tripoli’s Martyr’s Square on the 21st of February, when a check by a militia patrol did not yield any visas or press accreditations. Consequently, the TV footage was confiscated and scrutinized. Alswehle asserted that Libyan security might be at risk. He did not elaborate on the specifics of the footage, but it is believed to encompass military sites. The present situation is complicated even more by an impotent central government in which the National Transitional Council (NTC) exerts no control over militia units, and by a judiciary that has ceased functioning. Davies and Montgomery-Johnson were not permitted access to an attorney, prompting Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to petition Libyan officials to accord the two suspects contact with a lawyer. Their arrests have been corroborated by the Foreign Office, which has declined further comment.


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