Human Rights

Concerns rise over the repression of journalists in Libya

North Africa

Journalists who have suffered at the hands of the security forces in Libya have formed a movement to oppose the repression.

While many parts of Libya are witnessing a stabilisation in the security situation, journalists have reported that they are facing repression from the country’s authorities.

Since no reason has been given for the rise in violence against journalists, some journalists have decided to form a movement protesting this concerning issue. Despite these protests, the Libyan Ministry of Interior has claimed that no such actions were taken against journalists and that they should submit official complaints to the ministry and avoid taking the issue to social media.

The Libyan Centre for Freedom of Press has supported this protest movement.

“The Monitoring and Documentation Unit has documented at least 20 cases of attacks by security authorities or government bodies that are supposed to facilitate access to information,” said Amin Ahmed, the head of the Monitoring and Documentation Unit in the Libyan Centre for Freedom of the Press.

Faraj al-Kish, an independent journalist, has stated that he was arrested and tortured for days by the security authorities who did not even inform his family of his arrest.

“Someone in Tripoli investigated me, stripped me of my belongings, and took my phone and went through it,” said al-Kish. “I spent four days without investigation and was beaten and insulted not only by one person but by more than ten people.”

According to the journalists, since the start of the Libyan conflict in 2011 after the fall of the old regime, many journalists have been assassinated and killed across the country while covering the battles and clashes.

In the recent clashes in southern Tripoli, the photographer Mohammed bin Khalifa was killed by random shelling.

Over the past year over 33 journalists have been harassed and arrested, with Khalifa being the only fatality.

Throughout the Middle East, the job of a journalist continues to be one of the most dangerous jobs with dozens being killed and silenced while on duty annually.