2 June 2014

Libya: Woman Journalist Found With Throat Cut in Southern Libya

press release

Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Naseeb Miloud Karfana, a TV journalist based in the southern city of Sabha, was murdered on Thursday 29 May. Her body was found together with her fiancé's in the city's northern Al-Hay Al-Jadida district. Her throat had been cut and she appeared to have been tortured.

Naseeb had worked for the state-owned TV station Libya Al-Wataniya as its programme coordinators in Sabha for the past eight months, the station's director, Ali Shaniber, said.

Karfana left the TV station at about 7 p.m. with her fiancé, who came to collect her in his car, so that they could attend a friend's wedding together. When she failed to arrive, her mother contacted the TV station, where an employee confirmed that Karfana had left.

The authorities have not as yet released any autopsy reports identifying the exact cause of death of the two victims.

Relatives said Karfana and her fiancé had recently received repeated threats from an unidentified person. Reporters Without Borders urges the competent authorities to carry out an impartial investigation without delay to identify the motive for this double murder, giving full consideration to the possibility of a link to Karfana's work.

"It is imperative that those responsible for this shocking murder are quickly found and brought to account, in order to end impunity in Libya," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

"The environment in which journalists have to work in Libya is becoming increasingly intolerable. According to our tally, there have been more than 60 violations of freedom of information since the start of 2014, including two murders of journalists this week, although the motives for these murders have yet to be established."

Karfana's murder came just three days after Muftah Buzeid, the editor of the state-owned newspaper Burniq, was gunned down on a central Benghazi street on 26 May (LINK). The situation is now extremely dangerous for journalists in Libya.

The government must immediately take concrete and effective measures - executive, legislative and judicial ones - with the aim of containing the growing violence, including violence against the media. The new "free" Libya must accept its national and international obligations as regards freedom of information, expression and opinion.

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