LIBYA: State TV host who waved gun on air detained

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Controversial Libyan state television talk show host Hala Misrati has reportedly been detained in Tripoli after she waved a gun on air during a weekend broadcast.

Misrati’s hour-long show ‘Libya on This Day,’ airs on the state-run satellite channel, Al Jamahiriya 2.


She rose to fame during the uprising due to her steadfast defense of the Moammar Kadafi regime and her combative interview style. She was known for interrogating fellow journalists on air, plunging into lengthy tirades against the rebels and deriding the satellite network Al Jazeera as the ‘khanzeera’ channel, or pig channel. At one point, she denounced Eman Al Obeidi, a Libyan woman who had accused Kadafi militiamen of gang raping her.

This weekend, Misrati could be seen behind her desk, wearing a green scarf and brandishing a pistol as rebels closed in on Tripoli, vowing to defend the station from potential attacks.

‘We are willing to become martyrs,’ she shouted.

She gave a brief interview after the incident, defending her behavior and igniting a firestorm of comments from opponents in the blogosphere and on Twitter, who speculated about where she went after the broadcast and what became of her gun.

On Monday, CNN reported that rebel officials had detained Misrati. CNN’s Sara Sidner in Tripoli apparently tried to interview Misrati.

‘Tried to interview her today but unable to access her. Rebels: ‘she is unharmed,’' Sidner tweeted late Monday.


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Video: (top) Hala Misrati, a controversial Libyan state television talk show host who waved a gun on-air during the weekend, was reportedly detained Monday in Tripoli. Credit: YouTube.

Video: (bottom) Misrati is known for her combative, pro-regime style. Earlier this year, she denounced Eman Al Obeidi, a woman who claimed to have been gang raped by Kadafi militiamen. Credit: YouTube.