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April 4, 2011

Two journalists freed in Syria and Libya

Reuters has confirmed that one of its photographers, Khaled al-Hariri, a Syrian national, was freed by the Syrian authorities yesterday after being detained for six days.

The 50-year old, who has worked for Reuters for 20 years, had been snatched on his way to work in Damascus on Monday 28 March.

He was one of four Reuters journalists detained in the country last week. The three others were freed earlier last week and were ordered to leave the country. He has told his colleagues he is well.

Stephen Adler, Reuters editor-in-chief said: ‘Reuters is relieved that Khaled has been released”. The photographer has returned to his family.

The second journalist released on Sunday was Lofti Al-Masoudi – one of four Al-Jazeera journalists detained in Libya. The network team had been arrested and detained on 19 March in Zintan, released on 31 March, only to be rearrested again on the same day. The Libyan authorities gave no information on why the men were arrested or where they were detained.

After his release, Al-Masoudi gave an interview on a Tunisian radio station, saying he and his colleagues had been treated well. He crossed the Tunisian border on Sunday night.

Al-Jazeera said it was ‘glad to see the end of the ordeal that Lofti unnecessarily went through”. The network has called for the release of its three other detained journalists: correspondent Ahmad Val Ould Eddin and two cameramen Kamel Al-Tallou and Ammar Al-Hamdan.

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