Two Americans, arrested last week week in Libya on allegations of proselytizing Christianity, were released and deported to Tunisia, according to multiple press reports.
The arrest of the two Americans was made public after Libya’s Internal Security Agency (ISA) released footage, which it claimed to be the confessions of the pair.
In the first video, one of the Americans confessed that he headed a Christian organization. The US State Department told CNN last Wednesday that Washington is “aware of reports” of the detention of a US citizen by a “Tripoli-based militia.”
The following day, on Thursday, the Internal Security Agency announced the arrest of a second US citizen, deputy director of a teaching center in Tripoli, linked to the missionary organization “Assemblies of God”, based in the United States.
A group of Libyans were also detained for joining the organization after converting to Christianity.
The US State Department’s description of the Internal Security Agency as “a militia” generated controversy in the country. The UN-backed 5+5 Joint Military Committee in Libya, which consists of army leaders from east and west of the country, defended the Internal Security Agency and described it as “one of the security institutions affiliated with the Libyan state”.
The Libyan Foreign Ministry has not commented so far on the incident.