Libyan correspondent Younis al-Mabrok al-Moghazy and Egyptian cameraman Mohammed Galal Okasha went missing while on assignment for the privately owned station Al Barqa TV in August 2014, according to news reports. They had been covering the election of the new parliament in Tobruk and were on their way back to Benghazi when they went missing alongside an administrative worker, Khaled al-Sabihi, and security guards Yousef al-Jmoudy and Abdul Salam al-Maghrabi, according to news reports.
On April 28, 2015, a spokesman for Libya’s Tobruk-based government announced that the journalists had been killed by Islamic State militants. The spokesman said five suspected Islamic State militants arrested by the authorities confessed to kidnapping and murdering the journalists, in addition to two missing Tunisian journalists, Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Guetari.
According to some news reports, Libyan government officials said they knew where the bodies were buried but could not reach them. Other outlets reported that a Libyan army general said the bodies of the two Al Barqa journalists and three others had been found outside the city of Bayda, eastern Libya. The government was not able to reach the bodies because of fighting in the area, the general told reporters in April 2015.
Citing information posted on Facebook by Okasha’s cousin, Doaa Sultan, Egyptian media reported that Okasha was killed on April 28, 2015. Sultan, who is a journalist in Egypt, posted later that day that the information about his cousin’s death was not confirmed.
Okasha’s sister, Neven, told CPJ in 2015 that the Egyptian government and foreign ministry has not provided any official information about the case.
Neven Okasha said that Al Barqa TV initially confirmed her brother’s death to the family and said his body had been found. She said that when she insisted it send the body to the family in cooperation with the Egyptian foreign ministry, the channel told her the body was not that of her brother.
CPJ’s queries to Al Barqa TV went unanswered.