By: Peter Beaumont | Guardian.co.uk
One evening, at the 8pm press conference that the Libyan regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi hosts each day at Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel, a letter was handed to journalists.
It was a photocopy of a communication to Li Baodong, Chinese ambassador to the UN and president of the security council.
For the journalists in Tripoli, it was the sixth paragraph that stood out.
“No restrictions are imposed on the foreign media,” it said. “Media correspondents work freely in Libya, and all necessary facilities are provided for them. They have freedom of movement, except in areas controlled by al-Qaida terrorists.”