TWO British journalists who were released at the weekend by Libyan militia after being detained for a month, were seen as spies because their captors confused them speaking Welsh with Hebrew.
Nicholas Davies-Jones and Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, who were working for Iran's English-language Press TV, were detained on Feb 22 by the Swehli brigade, one of the dozens of militias which last year helped force out Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Earlier this month, the Swehli militia said the Britons, initially detained for illegal entry into Libya, were suspected of spying.
They were transferred to the custody of the government last week however.
Speaking on BBC 5Live following their release, Mr Montgomery-Johnson said: "We're pleased to be back with our own families because they've been through a similar ordeal.
"While we were there we were given no information at all. Now we're overwhelmed and thankful."
They said five days after they had been taken, the militia had gone to their hotel to find footage and began looking through equipment and the archive material.
"My father, who's a nurse, had given me some bandages in case we got into trouble. Some had Welsh written on and they thought this was Hebrew and we were Israeli spies," he said.
International rights campaigners including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have said the two Britons were detained illegally, and had called on the militia to either release them immediately or transfer them to the custody of the official Libyan authorities.
The fact they have been held by a militia – which has no official status – is emblematic of the instability and weak central government control in Libya since last year's rebellion ended Gaddafi's rule with help from Nato air strikes.