NZ-born filmmaker arrested freed
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:04a.m.
By 3 News online staff
New Zealand-born journalist Sharron Ward, arrested on the outskirts of the Libyan capital last night, has now been released by Libyan officials.
Originally from Gisborne, Ms Ward was detained around 6:30pm Thursday local time at a disused naval academy in Tripoli, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Ms Ward is in Libya to investigate allegations of abuse carried out by former rebels against members of a minority ethnic group from the town of Tawergha.
She had been conducting interviews with internally displaced persons at the naval academy, which has become a camp for 2,500 Tawerghans whose town was destroyed by rebel forces.
Tawerghans – descendants of black African slaves in Libya – have been accused of supporting the ousted Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi and targeted as a result.
Military guards questioned the accreditation carried by Ms Ward and her film crew before detaining them, British newspaper The Guardian reported.
“I was filming the last shot and some security guy said what are you doing? They said we were supposed to get proper permission,” Ms Ward told the Guardian.
She said she was not mistreated in custody, but her equipment has been confiscated by Libyan officials. She has to report back to them on Saturday.
She says she has full press accreditation for working in Libya, but was unsure if that allowed filming inside a military facility.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is yet to confirm her release.
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21/07/2012 1:48:29 p.m.
Rylee watkins wrote:
this is my aunty i hope u are all good and safe we miss you here in new zealand xxxx ooooo your neice rylee
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