30 Sep 2012

Australian aid worker free to leave Libya

1:26 pm on 30 September 2012

An Australian aid worker who was prevented from leaving Libya has had her passport returned.

Alexandra Bean, 30, has been working in Libya for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

She was stopped for questioning by Libyan authorities at Tripoli airport on Tuesday and her passport was seized after she refused to sign a statement written in Arabic, AAP reports.

Cairo-based Australian consular official Simon Harrison touched down in Libya on Saturday to provide assistance to Ms Bean.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on Sunday said Ms Bean was now free to leave the country.

"Ms Bean's passport has been returned to her," a DFAT spokeswoman said on Sunday.

"We welcome this outcome and acknowledge the co-operation of Libyan authorities."

The department said it had also received assistance from the UK embassy in Tripoli.

Ms Bean would receive full consular assistance and support until she left Libya and DFAT will continue to maintain contact with her family in Canberra.