Gaddafi journalist, Hala Misrati, appears “veiled” on YouTube denying news of her death

By Iqbal Tamimi

Libyan activists have published on Facebook Sunday 19th February 2012 a video of the controversial Libyan journalist, Hala Misrati, denying the circulated news that she has been killed inside a prison few days ago by the Libyan rebels and she congratulated the Libyans on the first anniversary of the revolution. 

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Hala Misrati appeared in the video wearing the hijab confirming the date and the fact that she is still alive and that she is safe and received good treatment by the rebels.

Misrati who is known as the “anchor of Gaddafi” has adopted a hostile attitude of the Libyan revolution since its inception and until the fall of the Libyan regime when she was arrest by the Libyan rebels after the fall of Tripoli.

Hala Misrati, who began he career in broadcasting three years before the revolution, became a star during the Libyan crisis, attracting the attention of international media when she appeared daily on her hour-long call-in show, “Libya on This Day” on the state-run satellite channel, Al-Jamahiriya 2, through which she supported Gaddafi wholeheartedly.

Unveiled journalist, Misrati, attracted attention when she issued a Fatwa live on air claiming “The Security Council adoption of the no-fly zone in Libya is not valid, because the adoption (of Children) is prohibited in Islam,” and on another show she blasted former Libyan representative to the UN, Mohamed Shalgham, who defected from the Gaddafi regime, reportedly calling him an “ignorant idiot” and saying that “he is good for nothing but barking like a dog.”. And in another broadcast, Misrati described prominent Qatar-based Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a “devil” after he criticized the pro-Gaddafi Libyan media. Misrati reportedly stated that “al-Qaradawi is too ignorant to judge me or the [Libyan] press.”

In response to the Libyan rebel’s advancement into Tripoli, Misrati appeared on the state television brandishing a pistol and declaring “with this weapon, I either kill or die today”

She fought against anyone fuelling the campaign against Gadhafi, including the media and, particularly, the Arab news channel al-Jazeera, which she referred to as “the pig channel” in a rhyming play on words – the Arabic word for pig is “khanzeera.”

Misrati did not spare colleagues by her attacks; she grilled an arrested female journalist for an hour, live on air, almost like a secret police interrogator. “Say the things that you said in your recordings!” she aggressively ordered Rana al-Aqbani, a Syrian-Libyan journalist who the rights group Amnesty International said was snatched from her Tripoli home along with her brother by plainclothes gunmen on March 28. Apparently Misrati was referring to taped recordings of al-Aqbani’s phone calls, as she tried to make her acknowledge that she sought Gadhafi’s ouster. Misrati accused al Aqabbani of helping prompt the international air campaign with her reports. As the defiant al-Aqbani tried to explain herself, Misrati interjected, “Sometimes a person lives in a fantasy … But when you take fantasy outside (your head), without realizing, you pass on rumours and mistakes, and we pay the price of those mistakes under shelling.”. Misrati later reassured her viewers that al-Aqbani won’t be put to death. “She and her friends are not the head of the snake, maybe the tail.”

Misrati also railed against Iman al-Obaidi, a Libyan woman who claimed to western journalists she had been raped by Gaddafi militiamen, calling her a “liar” and suggesting she was a “whore” and accused her of being a traitor. “Iman, in the end, is a liar,” Misrati said in a 10-minute rant, accusing al-Obeidi of pulling a media stunt. She dismissed her claims, saying “no Arab woman would bring shame on her family by publicly admitting to rape”. She told viewers that it was rebels who were raping women in the eastern territories they control. Misrati urged al-Obeidi to come clean with the truth because her claims were fuelling the “bombardment” of Libya.”Even sometimes a whore has nationalism toward her homeland, when she knows her homeland is in danger!” Misrati sneered.

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