The United Nations mission in Libya said on Monday it was "concerned" at the abduction of prominent journalist and human rights activist Reda Fhelboom at Mitiga airport by a Tripoli based armed group as he arrived from neighbouring Tunisia.
"UNSMIL is concerned that Mr Fhelboom’s arrest and detention may be on account of his work as a defender and journalist and therefore in violation of Libya’s international human rights law obligations regarding the right to liberty and security of the person and freedom of opinion and expression," the mission said in a statement.
Fhelboom should be swiftly released or "referred to a judicial authority", the statement said, urging journalists and human rights activists to be protected and allowed to "freely carry out their work".
"UNSMIL takes note of the statement issued by the Ministry of Interior on the case and is following up with relevant authorities in Tripoli," said the statement.
In its statement, the interior ministry denied playing any role in Fhelboom’s arrest, and blamed the government’s intelligence services, asking them to clarify why he had been detained.
An array of human rights organisations have deplored Fhelboom's enforced disappearance.