A video from Jonathan Miller of Channel 4 News clearly shows a tense situation for foreign journalists in Libya as they try to get around their “minders”. He says they not only struggled to record the situation but they also fought in vain to assist a woman named Eman al-Obeidi they noticed crying and screaming for help in their Tripoli hotel:
There was nothing that anybody standing here could do about it… They threatened us. We were unable to protect her. We have no idea what her fate will be now.
These men are Gaddafi’s thugs. The Financial Times correspondent, Charles Clover, who had just learned that he was to be summarily deported, bravely challenged the minders and the hotel staff, demanding they back off and leave Ms al-Obeidi alone.
For this Mr Clover was roughly manhandled, pushed and thrown to the floor and kicked. Another government minder, who had previously tried to interfere with our filming, punched me in the face and pushed me backwards over a chair.
I landed on my back, only to have another scuffle break out above me as the CNN crew grappled with other minders who were attempting to seize their camera.
The camera smashed and broke into pieces and the minders grabbed the memory cards.