The Libyan authorities in Tripoli have released four Hamas prisoners, Marwan Al-Ashqar, Nasib Shabir, Muayyad Abed, and Baraa Al-Ashqar, who were detained in 2016.

Sources said that the authorities transported the four Hamas members accompanied by a high-ranking Libyan official to the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday on a private plane, and they were received by Hamas officials.

The source confirmed that the Palestinian prisoners were released about a month ago, but the authorities temporarily suspended their release until security arrangements were made to ensure their safe transfer outside the country.

A Libyan court in 2019 issued sentences between 17 and 22 years of prison to the four detainees - who included businesspeople and students - over their alleged formation of a secret organization, possessing and smuggling weapons, and conspiring against state security.