A new decree passed by Libya’s parliament banning satellite television stations critical of the government and the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi violates free speech and Libya’s Provisional Constitutional Declaration. The decree was passed January 22, 2014. The government also slashed scholarship funding for students abroad, along with salaries and bonuses to employees who take part in activities “inimical” to the revolution.
“You’d think that Libyans learned long ago that suppressing speech, no matter how harsh, does nothing to foster security or peace,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “The best way to confront opinions that the government doesn’t like is to challenge them with better ideas that will convince Libyans.”
Decree 5/2014, “Concerning the Cessation and Ban on the Broadcasting of Certain Satellite Channels,” passed by Libya’s parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), on January 22, instructs the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Communications, and [Mass] Media to “take necessary steps required” to halt the transmission of all satellite television stations that are “hostile to the February 17 revolution and whose purpose is the destabilization of the country or creating divisions among Libyans.” It further instructs the government to “take all measures” against states or businesses in territories from where the channels are broadcast if they do not block the transmission of these stations.
The decree violates freedom of expression because it censors a wide range of speech, including peaceful political dissent, and its broad and vague wording is open to arbitrary implementation, Human Rights Watch said. While the government could lawfully ban speech that is found to directly incite violence, it should not ban all of a satellite channel’s broadcasts even if some of the speech that it disseminates is found to incite violence. Human Rights Watch urged the government to revoke the resolution.
The ban appears intended to block satellite stations that have taken a pro-Gaddafi position in their editorial content; in particular, it appears aimed at a pro-Gaddafi station, al-Khadra Channel, and al-Jamahiriyah.
Libya’s government also passed Resolution 13/2014 on January 24, discontinuing scholarships to students studying abroad and salaries and bonuses to Libyan employees, for “taking part in activities inimical to the February 17 revolution,” which is widely understood to encompass statements and protests against the current government. It calls on Libyan embassies abroad and others to draw up lists of names and refer them to the Prosecutor General for prosecution.
“These efforts to sanction Libyans who don’t support the revolution or the current government should be an embarrassment for all those who pledged a new era of freedom for Libyans,”Whitson said. “Punishing students and employees who don’t toe the government’s political line is a tactic that should have ended with the fall of Gaddafi.”
The government’s effort to ban pro-Gaddafi media comes in the context of a difficult political and security environment. Seemingly pro-Gaddafi armed groups in southern and western Libya have engaged in pitched battles against pro-government forces, resulting in at least 154 deaths and 463 injured people according to an Agence France Presse report. In the past year, armed groups and unknown assailantsassassinated at least 70 Libyans associated with the Gaddafi government, mainly former members of the Gaddafi security forces, but also political opponents of Gaddafi, and judges, with virtually no arrests by the government.
It is unclear how the Libyan government will enforce this ban against satellite stations operating outside of the country.
These decrees follow a number of prosecutions of high-profile activists, journalists and politicians who have expressed critical views. A court sentenced Jamal al-Hajji, an activist detained under Gaddafi, to eight months in prison with labor and a steep fine for making false accusations against government officials and others.
Since the removal of the Gaddafi government, prosecutors have relied on penal code provisions restricting speech to prosecute at least three other people for speech related “crimes,”including blasphemy and defamation charges.
On June 14, 2012, the Libyan Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law that criminalized free speech, Law 37/2012, which the National Transitional Council had passed on May 2, 2012. The law criminalized a variety of types of political speech, including speech that “glorifies the tyrant [Muammar Gaddafi],” did “damage [to] the February 17 Revolution,” or insulted Libya’s institutions. The presiding Judge, Kamal Edhan, declared the law unconstitutional. The case was litigated by a group of lawyers who included the current justice minister, Salah al-Marghani, and the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights.
“While the authorities would be right to prosecute those whose speech directly incites violence and killings of other Libyans, this law against satellite channels that oppose the revolution is far too broad and goes well beyond any permitted restrictions on speech,” Whitson said. “Rather than trying to silence those who oppose the revolution, the government should be demonstrating through its achievements why the people of Libya should support it.”
The idea that asylum seekers can work in Libya is wrong, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
Women are raped, men sexually abused. People are kidnapped, trapped into forced labour, made to go for days without food and forced to drink from toilets.
This is life in Libyan detention centres, as recounted by asylum seekers who survived the physical and psychological trauma and managed to reach the safe shores of Malta.
“The question ‘why didn’t you seek asylum in Libya’ is disgusting for me. It makes mockery of what we have gone through.
“Where am I supposed to seek asylum in a place that doesn’t even have institutions?” asks Farah, whose feet were beaten to a pulp at the detention centre so he could not escape.
“When I heard the Maltese government was planning to return some people to Libya I was shocked. I panicked. I thought it was me they wanted to take back. Dying would be better,” said Abuubakar, another survivor.
These accounts are catalogued in Beyond Imagination, a Jesuit Refugee Service publication documenting the experiences of asylum seekers arriving in Malta through Libya.
At the launch at Europe House, Valletta, last night, JRS programme coordinator Goitom Yosief spoke of his personal experience of Libya when he ran away from Eritrea, aged 26.
“From what I have seen being in Libya, it is much worse than being sent to my country,” he said.
There is the idea that, in Libya, asylum seekers can work, he said, but that was far from the truth: “You are in hiding all the time. Even going to the shops can be dangerous.”
Migrants have no rights: they can be detained at any point by police, the army, militia groups or even civilians, he said.
“And even now that the Gaddafi regime has collapsed, the situation is still the same.”
Beyond Imagination highlights the horror stories of a country awash with weapons, targeted assassinations, kidnappings and tribal clashes: a lawless scenario where migrants are vulnerable.
JRS director Katerine Camilleri’s message was clear: “We are reiterating our call to the government to refrain from actions that will result, directly or indirectly, in the return of migrants to Libya until the situation there has drastically improved and the Libyan government puts in place effective measures to safeguard human rights and guarantee access to protection in practice.”
In the publication, JRS referred to the Maltese government’s insistence on more than one occasion that Libya should be seen not as part of the problem of irregular migration but as an essential part of the solution.
“This is nothing less than a travesty of the migrants’ fundamental rights… the truth is that Libya today is nowhere near ready to guarantee anybody’s human rights, let alone those of foreigners,” JRS notes.
The struggle for liberation of Libya is irreversible …. The gangster government in alliance with Al Qaeda U.S. and NATO disintegrates and will be crushed by the Green Resistance
What is happening in the south of Libya?
The latest developments from the South, demonstrate the ability of military and political resistance Patriots, the flame is powered on, the direction of the resistance makes a fruitful balance of the objectives achieved in its unexpected eruption of conscious but longed for returning long way to Libya’s dignity and sovereignty, cleaning of mercenaries and traitors, makes tactical moves to protect civilians and new troops loyal to the newly formed provisional Jamahiriya army.
Warns important security measures of mujahidines of the Green Resistance and all the people in general, recommends Resistance fighters, reviewers and the proper use of social media, mobile or any media to avoid be detected by the invading enemy that has high-tech devicesto detect resistance and recommends people to avoid conflict areas not to become cannon fodder since the enemy is passed in the most cowardlymanner by members of resistance ….. The people must be patient and wait for the time when the Green Resistance to convene.
According to reports reaching the mediation of some tribes of Zintan has agreed to a temporary cease-fire, engaging the Zintan which want to repel attack by mercenaries from Misurata and Libyan army servile evil called NATO in any area of the South. This agreement allows avoid further bloodshed of civilians and facilitates a realignment of Resistance to a new battle scenario.
The Resistance announces maintaining control of the South and continues its targeted attacks on figures of the Libyan puppet “government”
Resistance managed to establish several bridges and advanced lines, a recovered abundant war material taken into secret locations, removed hundreds of foreign mercenaries and captured dozens of them facing a minimum lossof Green Resistance fighters to hope returned to the Libyan people, demonstrated military superiority on land and facing up to the constant aerial bombardment by NATO and Qatar, to stake out the analysis that the only way to liberation of Libya’s armed insurrection.
The media’s objective has been achieved in all corners of the world exiled Libyans and millions of people have returned to talk about the suffering of the Libyan people and destruction in the hands of a de facto government in Libya NATO demonstrations of solidarity with the Resistance in dozens of Libyan embassies around the world even in some of them has managed to raise the Jamahiriya Green Flag.
The struggle of liberation of Libya is irreversible Peace, mercy and blessings of God with men loyal to the country and the Jamahiriya Libya
- Benghazi: on Thursday afternoon, the son of ‘Ali Bouchmadh “was kidnapped, the father said to the troops to search for him. Witnesses say of this traitor’s son that he was captured as he left the University of Benghazi by people traveling in two white Toyota cars that fled to an unknown destination.
* Now there is fighting in Al Sabri, cars on fire, the smoke rising over the city of Benghazi
* Fighting among army troops and bandits of Al Qaeda at the main entrance to the University of Benghazi Gariyunis, we report the shot down an unmanned helicopter.
* News about the presence of Ayman al-Zawahiri in the field Battalion February 17 in Benghazi that is being bombarded by helicopters misnamed Libyan army.
- Tripoli: A chief of staff in the Libyan army has been killed in clashes with gangs south of Tripoli, Libyan security sources said. Karah Mohamed died Sunday of a gunshot wound to the head, after taking part in an offensive against the gangs who had been stealing cars and blocking roads in the Rishfana area on the outskirts of the capital.
* Today it was announced that the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sadiq Abdulkarim Abdulrahman survived the attempt on his life in Tripoli. “Gunmen attacked and his car was riddled with bullets,” – said Deputy Interior Minister Sayed Al-Bahloul. Attack occurred when the minister left the building complex Dawa Islamiya Al-Falah district in Tripoli, near the main road to the airport. According to the security service in Tripoli, he only survived because his car was armored.
* Bands of armed mercenary “security” have entered Abu Salim and are abducting all young people and their parents, humiliated in the presence of women and children, these NATO criminals do not respect the sanctity of the home. All hostages are taken to a concentration camp.
The families of Abu Salim, are angry and full of pain wondering why we had our people and our brothers, the sons of Abu Salim abducted. Their only crime of their fathers, mothers and children is staying true to the leader Muammar Gaddafi and opposition to colonialism and destruction committed by NATO against Libya.
This shameful act shows their fear the puppets of NATO to the new popular army libration is parallel to the Libyan Jamahiriya.
* Armed militias in Tripoli had hijacked Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Mirghani
- Sebha: Large Libyan resistance patriots fighting radical Islamists illegally occupying their country, are having great victories against evil. Today a convoy of over 100 vehicles (reinforced) of these criminals was ambushed and destroyed about 70 km from Sabha.The popular resistance is strong and their voice is strong for all Libyan patriots.
* Sabha and the tribes of the southern half of Libya announced the emergence of a parallel army provisional the Jamahiriya People’s Resistance.
* The castle was used as a torture center and military control by rats and mercenaries of NATO, it was released after fierce fighting, many rats “NATO rebels” were liquidated, part of the castle was destroyed.
- Terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood left the Libyan government to facilitate the downfall and go on the offensive: Today it was reported that the political group Muslim Brotherhood in Libya “Party for Justice and Development” pulled their support and their representatives (ministers) from the Puppet Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. This is a crushing blow to Zeidan which as we reported in the past, has dual citizenship with Libya and Germany. He is a German spy, and this is known to all Libyans.
NOTE ***: The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic terrorist organization known, was part of the government of Libya is a proof of delivery of Libya by NATO to Islamic extremist groups (Ansar Al Sharia, Al Qaeda, LIFG and many others anyway just using different names to confuse the west). Under the previous regime, Islamic extremism was forbidden. Libya led the world in the hunt and maintenance of this psychopathic terrorists outside their country. 95% of the Libyan population HATE radical Islamism. 5% that make up the Islamic extremists in Libya are NATO, the UN and the U.S. they gave hand to destroy Libya. There were not enough of them to take over the country so they imported 250,000 NATO Al Qaeda groups to Libya to help destroy the country.Many foreign terrorists are still livingin Libya.
NOTE ***: The Muslim Brotherhood only will leave office to help facilitate the fall of the puppet Ali Zeidan so they can take the lead in Libya.
The Libyan people are fighting to take back what is rightfully theirs – THEIR COUNTRY – which was taken from them by force and handed over to NATO imperialist puppet and radical Islamists.
Secondly, on previous article there is a picture of a dead leader of Ansar Al Sharia, his name is Abu al-Qasim Dabbashi was leading the terrorist training camps near Sabratha, Libya. He was killed by the Green Resistance fighters of the city and the tribes of Al Ojailat
Libyans ask – “Ansar Al Sharia has been officially declared a terrorist group by the U.S., then why is the U.S. not supporting the Libyan fighters in theirbattle against these known terrorists?”