Connect to share and comment

Al Jazeera news team released in Niger after three days in jail

The Qatar-based network said in a statement that the group was released without charge and were leaving the country.

Clone of 162767010sized 0Enlarge
An Al Jazeera news team was released from a Niger prison after three days in detention in Zinder. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of Al Jazeera journalists was released Monday after three days in jail in eastern Niger.

Niger authorities accused the journalists of filming illegally and not entering the country with the proper visa.

The Qatar-based network said in a statement that the team was released without charge and was leaving the country.

"An Al-Jazeera correspondent and her team have been finally released from a Niger jail after being held by authorities since Saturday," the network's statement said. "The four-person team was released late on Monday evening without charge to make (their) way back to the border."

Niger denied the group had been held in a cell and said that only their gear had been confiscated.

It is unclear if the materials were returned to the reporters.

More from GlobalPost: Suicide bombers in Niger strike military barracks and French mine

The incident occured on Saturday after the team finished filming a story about Nigerian refugees fleeing fighting between insurgents and government forces into neighboring Niger.

Authorities arrested correspondent Yvonne Ndege, camera operator Romuald Luyindula and producer Mohammed Abubakar.

They also arrested the driver Rabiu Abdullahi and brought the four to the district capital Zinder for 10 hours of interrogation.

They were reportedly charged with espionage and had all their personal belongings, including passports, taken away.

The crew may have also been denied food and water.

Al Jazeera had posted an appeal for their release on the network's website.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/130617/al-jazeera-news-team-released-niger-after-three-days-jail