The Libyan Center for Press Freedom denounced the refusal of the Mitiga airport security authorities to allow Tunisian journalist Mohamed Al-Youssoufi to enter the country, calling on Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah to fulfill his pledges regarding media freedom.

The statement said that the security authorities at Mitiga airport in Tripoli prevented the journalist from entering the capital last Friday, under the pretext of having no security permit to enter Libyan territory, even though the center made it clear that he is not on a journalistic mission in Libya, but rather that the purpose of the visit is purely academic research.

"Despite our attempts to resolve the problem at Mitiga airport for nearly 7 hours, all representatives of the security services present at the airport refused to allow him entry under the pretext that he had the description of "journalist" in the profession field in his Tunisian passport, presenting flimsy and illegal arguments that indicated the extent of the security chaos at the airport, which harms the image of the Libyan state abroad, especially with neighboring countries that do not impose visas on Libyan citizens and with which Libyans have strong historical relations, such as Tunisia.”

The center called on the Prime Minister to fulfill his pledges that were made in ordinance No. 8 of 2021 regarding the pledge to enhance freedom of the press and media, which he repeatedly stressed would bring about greater openness to journalists, as well as facilitating their work and movements, which has not been implemented to date.

The center also called on the government in Tripoli to “abolish all restrictions, arbitrary procedures, and prior censorship imposed on journalists, their movements, and their field work, whether Libyan journalists or foreign guests, and to limit the disturbing and suspicious interference of the security services involved in pursuing and monitoring journalists, as well as to commit to the right to freedom of civil action.”