5 thoughts on “Stop Libyan anti-free speech law

  1. Militias fire on PM’s offices

    LIBYA: Militiamen with anti-aircraft guns attacked the office of interim prime minister Abdurrahim al-Keib in Tripoli this afternoon.

    The attackers are believed to be former rebels demanding payment for their part in the Nato-backed regime change operation in the oil-rich country last year.

    It was unclear at the time the Star went to press whether Mr Keib was in the offices.


  2. U.N. says three Libya prisoners likely tortured to death

    Michelle Nichols Reuters

    5:42 p.m. CDT, May 10, 2012

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Several prisoners likely were tortured to death at a detention center in Libya under government control, the United Nations said on Thursday as it urged the country to make stamping out such practices a top priority.

    Libya’s Justice Ministry has control of 31 detention centers with some 3,000 detainees, but about 4,000 prisoners are still in the custody of Libyan revolutionary brigades, U.N. special envoy for Libya Ian Martin told the U.N. Security Council.

    Of the detention centers under government authority, Martin said “control over these facilities is often shared with other parties, including the brigades that had been running them.”

    The U.N. human rights agency and aid groups have accused the brigades of torturing detainees, many of whom are sub-Saharan Africans suspected of fighting for the toppled government of Muammar Gaddafi during Libya’s nine-month civil war.

    “Mistreatment and torture of detainees continue,” Martin said. “UNSMIL (the U.N. Mission in Libya) expressed deep concern regarding the deaths of three individuals at a detention center in Misrata … under the authority of the Ministry of Interior.”

    “The deaths all occurred on April 13 and we have credible information that they were a direct result of torture, as well as information that at least seven other persons were tortured at the same facility,” he said.

    Accusations of the mistreatment and disappearances of suspected Gaddafi loyalists are embarrassing for Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, which has vowed to make a break with practices under Gaddafi and respect human rights.

    It is also awkward for the Western powers that backed the anti-Gaddafi rebellion and helped install Libya’s new leaders.

    The interim government was appointed in November to lead Libya to elections in June but is struggling to impose order on a country awash with weapons left over from the fighting.

    Martin said allegations of torture had also been made at detention facilities elsewhere in Libya, including Tripoli, Zawiya and Zintan.

    “Addressing these practices should be a top government priority in pursuit of a new culture of human rights and the rule of law in post-revolution Libya,” he said.

    Gaddafi’s 42-year rule collapsed when his forces fled Tripoli in August, and the last of the fighting in Libya ended in October when he was captured and killed by rebels.

    With Libya due to hold its first free election next month to choose an assembly to draft a constitution, Martin said between May 1-9 more than a million people had registered to vote, but that only 36 percent of them were women.

    He said more than 1,100 individual candidates had registered along with 47 political entities. “Among individual candidates, however, the number of women coming forward has been extremely low – only 29 so far,” Martin said.

    “This is disappointing but unsurprising, as most women who want to run prefer to be included in the lists of political entities, which by law must include alternating male and female candidate,” he said.

    (Editing by Eric Walsh)

  3. Libya: UNESCO Calls for Protection of Country’s Old City of Ghadamès

    23 May 2012

    The head of the United Nations agency tasked with safeguarding the world’s cultural heritage today called for the protection of Libya’s Old City of Ghadamès, voicing concern over reports that the town has been the target of rocket attacks.

    “I call upon all those involved to refrain from hostile acts that could cause additional damage to this outstanding city, inscribed on the World Heritage List,” said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.

    The Old City of Ghadamès is situated in north-western Libya and was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1986. Often referred to as ‘the pearl of the desert,’ Ghadamès features a style of domestic architecture which makes it a unique site among a series of pre-Saharan cities and settlements along the northern edge of the desert from Libya to Mauritania.

    Clashes between rival groups have been among the challenges facing Libya since the toppling of the regime of Muammar Al-Qadhafi last year and the establishment of the interim authorities.

    “During the past year, Libyans have shown their unfailing commitment to the protection of their cultural heritage, demonstrating that such heritage cannot be held hostage to local or international dissent and conflict,” Ms. Bokova said.

    “Heritage is a foundation of social cohesion and as such should remain a vector for dialogue and mutual understanding,” she added.

    During last year’s conflict in Libya, UNESCO repeatedly informed all parties of their responsibility to protect the country’s cultural heritage. The agency has resumed its cooperation with the Libyan authorities and has indicated it remains ready to assist them to effectively protect and conserve the country’s heritage as it recovers from conflict.

    UNESCO’s World Heritage List includes 936 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage considered to have outstanding universal value.


  4. Pingback: Violence, not democracy in Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Elections, but no democracy, in Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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