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A kidnapped loved one comes home in Libya

By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com 
Despite reports of more bloodshed and violence in Libya, there is at least some happy news for one Libyan man: his brother, detained last week in Tripoli by pro-Gadhafi forces along with his father and two others brothers, has been released.

Ahmed Sewehli, a Britain-based psychiatrist, said his 19-year-old brother Mohammed was released Sunday night. He had only a brief conversation with him since he believes the telephone lines are being monitored in Libya.

“He was in good condition and he said that he saw my family (father, two brothers) a couple of days or something before he was released and they were okay,” he said in a telephone interview with msnbc.com from London.

Sewehli said his father, 65-year-old retired engineer Abdurrahman, and Mohammed were taken from their family home on Feb. 28. His two other brothers, Khaleel, 31, and Shtewi, 25, had been abducted from a friend’s house earlier the same day. Two of his brothers were taken by Gadhafi’s men, a witness told him, while his father and another brother were taken by mercenaries and people in “uniforms,” he said.

The father and sons had been participating in anti-Gadhafi protests, and his father had spoken out against the embattled Libyan leader on Arabic television, Sewehli said.

When asked if the family was given an explanation for why Mohammed was released, he said: “No.”

“Nobody is even acknowledging that he was either released or kidnapped in the first place. That’s the way it works in Libya. Ghadafi doesn’t explain anything, neither do his thugs.”

But he believed it was a “scare tactic” to “set an example to anybody who protests or opposes the regime, this is what’s going to happen to you.”

The tactic was “probably working because people in Tripoli are not protesting anymore. Because, they protest, they are either going to be shot or kidnapped,” said Sewehli, 36, who has left his job to focus on a medical aid effort to Libya, Libyan Doctors Relief.

His mother could no longer live in the family home, which had been turned upside down after the arrests, and she was “completely distraught,” he said, noting that he did not believe his father and brothers would be released until the situation was resolved.

“We just have to wait. … It is a nightmare, a very long nightmare."