British hostage, David Bolam, freed in Libya
After 5 months in captivity and a media blackout surrounding his case, British hostage David Bolam has been released
British hostage, David Bolam, has been released in Libya (Youtube screenshot - World Breaking News)
Published date: 13 February 2015 01:30 UTC | Last update: 6 years 11 months ago
British teacher David Bolam has been released after being held hostage in Libya for around five months, the Foreign Office in London said on Saturday.
Officials said they were "glad that David Bolam is safe and well after his ordeal" and they confirmed that "he has been reunited with his family".
It did not give further details but Bolam was kidnapped by militants in May in Libya's second city Benghazi.
Bolam is a teacher at the international school in Benghazi. A US teacher from the same school was shot dead in December.
The SITE intelligence group identified a video posted on YouTube last month of Bolam appealing for British Prime Minister David Cameron to help secure his release.
In the video Mr Bolam is heard to say "I ask the British government and Prime Minister David Cameron, please, please, please do the same (as the American government who released some prisoners in exchange for one of their own citizens) to allow me to go home back to my family and I ask my family and friends and anyone else who hears this, please can you do something to let the government understand I need to go home soon. Please, please do something to help me."
The video, apparently recorded on 28 August 2014, was released by a group that called itself Jeish al-Islam (Army of Islam) but SITE could not authenticate it due to a lack of information.
Relatively little is known about this group or their exact demands with regards to the kidnap of Bolam.
A news blackout had been in place at the request of the Foreign Office and the Bolam family and so there was very little information coming out about his status.
Libya has been sliding into chaos since longtime leader Moamer Qaddafi was toppled in an uprising three years ago, with interim authorities confronted by powerful militias that fought to oust him.
The cradle of the uprising against Qaddafi, Benghazi is now regularly the scene not only of fighting but also the murders of members of the security forces, political activists and journalists.