It was bound to happen eventually. War correspondents always face the threat of being captured or injured while covering the story.
What is really depressing — but not surprising — is the relish the Gaddafi forces seemed to exhibit in beating the BBC journalists.
One of the three, Chris Cobb-Smith, said: “We were lined up against the wall. I was the last in line – facing the wall.
“Then [a plain-clothes guy with a small sub-machine gun] walked up to me, put the gun to my neck and pulled the trigger twice. The bullets whisked past my ear. The soldiers just laughed.”
A second member of the team – Feras Killani, a correspondent of Palestinian descent – appears to have been singled out for repeated beatings.
Their captors told him they did not like his reporting of the Libyan popular uprising and accused him of being a spy.
The third member of the team, cameraman Goktay Koraltan, said they were all convinced they were going to die.
During their detention, the BBC team saw evidence of torture against Libyan detainees, many of whom were from Zawiya.