A Jordanian doctor, who claims he works for aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, has been reportedly seized by armed rebels in Libya, witnesses said. MSF’s emergency coordinator for Libya, however, denied that the doctor is a member of their team.
The Jordanian doctor was allegedly taken from a hotel room in rebel-held Benghazi on Tuesday (March 8). He is believed to have been staying in Libya for around two weeks now, helping to provide aid as violence continues to escalate in the African nation amid calls for leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down, AFP reports.
“They entered our room. They didn’t knock. They had the master key,” Mai Salam, a colleague of the unnamed Jordanian doctor, told Agence France-Presse. “They were armed and they said ‘come with us’. We asked who are you. They won’t tell us. They searched, patted him and took him away,” Salam, who says she is a volunteer with MSF, added.
Anne Chatelain, MSF’s emergency coordinator for Libya, told AFP by telephone: “He doesn’t work for us in Libya. He is not at all part of our team. It’s he who says he is part of the MSF team. That’s the price of our reputation.”
Salam, however, insisted that the Jordanian doctor “is MSF full-time. We are volunteers.”
Osama el-Faturi, a rebel fighter, has confirmed to AFP that the Jordanian doctor was under investigation and would be released soon.
“They took him to investigate. Then they’ll bring back,” he said. Laughing, he added: “They’re not going to kill him,” AFP reports.
One of the hotel’s managers said the rebels told him they wanted to question the doctor. The Libyan rebels are soldiers who defected and are now fighting against Gadhafi’s forces.
Some 212,000 people have fled Libya since the uprising started three weeks ago, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
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