Following are excerpts from statements by Libyan TV host Hala Masrati, which aired on the state-run Al-Libiyya TV, on August 19, 2011:
Hala Masrati: I would like to assure the families of the people working here that in Al-Libiyya TV there are real men. I swear by Allah that the minutes and hours that we spent here were glorious indeed.
The people of Al-Libiyya TV are courageous fighters. They have defended this TV channel. We tell the families that the people working here are safe and sound. In Al-Libiyya TV, there are real men, and the women here are worth 100 men each.
I am appearing before you because we are certain of our victory. We want to say to the Libyan people: Rest assured that we are not deterred by their weapons, missiles, or snipers. Who are these armed gangs? Who are these people? You are coming to kill me. How do you expect me to respect you, to respect your views, to respect your democracy, to respect your freedom, when you are coming to attack and kill me?!
This has become a battle of life or death. We will either kill or be killed.
We have many callers, but before that, I would like to say to the snipers shooting at us – after all, there is an exchange of fire outside – that this is my weapon.
Pulls out a pistol from under the desk
You can show it on Al-Jazeera TV, Al-Arabiya TV, and all the other channels. This is my weapon. I will either kill or be killed today. You will not capture Al-Libiyya TV, Al-Shababiyya TV, Al-Jamahiriyya TV, Tripoli, or Libya. You will not capture them. We are all armed. Anyone without a weapon is ready to become a human shield to protect his colleagues here. We are all prepared to be martyred. We are defending Allah. The Koranic text on this is clear. The Prophet Muhammad was very clear.
What Jihad are you talking about? The Libyan army hesitates a thousand times before shooting a single bullet. They do not want to kill Libyan brothers, but you come to me, armed by NATO, Italy, and France, and you bring Apache helicopters, and planes bombing from above… Today, in Tajura, people could not calm down from the bombing… Where are the Arabs?! Where are the Muslims?!
We have a call, but I just wanted to tell you that we are all armed.