Al-Ghazal’s body was found in a suburb of Benghazi, about 620 miles
(1,000 kilometers) east of the capital, Tripoli. He had gone missing
from his home on May 21, according to several sources. Al-Ghazal was a
former journalist for the government-owned daily Azahf al-Akhdar and was contributor to the London-based Web sites Libya Alyoum and Libya Jeel.
Justice Minister Ali Hasnaoui said al-Ghazal was shot in the head and the death was being investigated as a murder.
Al-Ghazal, who worked for government media for several years and was a
member of the governing Revolutionary Committees, had recently been
critical of government officials and the official media in articles for
the London-based Web sites. Al-Ghazal wrote an open letter in February,
announcing his intention never to write for official media again and
saying he was “protesting the attacks…journalists have faced while
trying to reveal the truth.” Al-Ghazal publicly criticized Libyan
officials in his other articles on Libya Alyoum and Libya Jeel, accusing them of corruption and “stealing the public’s money.”
A source close to al-Ghazal told CPJ that the journalist was briefly
detained and questioned by Libyan security agents in April.