British Journalists Held In Libya After Militia Mistake Welsh Language For Hebrew

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 20/03/2012 13:52 Updated: 20/03/2012 14:01

Militia

Two British journalists working for Iranian state-owned broadcaster Press TV were held captive by Libya militia after they mistook their Welsh for Hebrew.

In an interview with BBC 5Live one of the journalists, Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, claimed that the Libyans saw Welsh writing on a pack of bandages given to him by his father and mistook it for Hebrew.

Montgomery-Johnson and colleague Nicholas Davies-Jones were originally detained by the Misrata Brigade in Tripoli on 22 February while filming the local council and mosque, and taken to a military barracks.

At the time they were told were guilty of entering the country illegally, and it was only five days later that the militia went through their equipment and falsely accused them of being Israeli spies.

While in Tripoli, Montgomery-Johnson and Davies-Jones were kept in a 3m by 3m room, in poor conditions.

"We're pleased to be back with our own families because they've been through a similar ordeal," Montgomery-Johnson told the BBC.

The journalists were eventually released after filming a video apologising for entering Libya without the correct permissions and were handed over to the authorities, before flying back to the UK on Monday night.

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