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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.

 The final stage of the [2011] revolution was in Sirte. We were filled with hope. Then step by step, Daesh took over. Now we feel we are cursed.
 -“Ali,” resident who fled ISIS in Sirte
Sofiane Chourabi, a Tunisian journalist emblematic of Tunisia’s struggle for free speech and media independence, and his cameraman, Nadhir Ktari, have been missing since an unidentified group reportedly seized them in Libya last September.

 War on the Media
 Journalists under Attack in Libya

 Background: Libya’s Media Landscape

 Attack on the Media since 2011
 Killings and…

Imprisonment, Withdrawal of Civil Rights, Ban on Practicing Journalism

(Beirut) – A Libyan criminal court’s imposition of a five-year prison term on Al-Ummah newspaper editor Amara al-Khatabi for allegedly defaming public officials is a serious blow to free speech that should not be allowed to stand. The court convicted al-…

Impunity Risks Silencing Media

(Tripoli) – Libya’s General Prosecutor should immediately order an impartial and comprehensive investigation into the killing of a prominent editor-in-chief and hold those responsible to account. Miftah Bouzeid, editor in chief of Burniq newspaper, was…

Facing Death Penalty or Prison for ‘Insults’

Update: On March 2, 2014, the Libyan Criminal Court acquitted Fathi Sager and Ali Tekbali. (Tripoli) – Libyan judicial authorities should immediately drop all criminal charges against two Libyan politicians accused of “insulting religion” and “instigating…

Drop Criminal Defamation Charges, Lift Restrictions on Free Expression

UPDATE: On August 21, 2013, authorities returned Amara al-Khatabi’s passport following a court order, allowing him to travel outside of Libya for health reasons. Al-Khatabi’s lawyer told Human Rights Watch that the charges of insulting the judiciary filed…

Thousands in Unlawful Custody Should be Handed Over

(Tripoli) – A Tripoli-based militia from Misrata should immediately transfer to the Libyan government two illegally detained British journalists and the three Libyans who were traveling with them, Human Rights Watch said today. The men are among thousands…

Anton Hammerl Killed by Gaddafi Forces 6 Weeks Ago

(New York) - The Libyan government should immediately release the body of South African photographer Anton Hammerl and investigate the role of the armed forces in his death, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said today.…
Updated to correct the weapon that killed the journalists. (New York) - The award-winning photographer and film-maker Tim Hetherington and the prize-winning photojournalist Chris Hondros were killed in Misrata on April 20, 2011, while covering the Libya…

At Least 15 Missing or in Government Custody

(New York) - Libyan authorities should immediately provide information on the whereabouts of nine foreign and six Libyan journalists detained or missing in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today. All journalists arbitrarily detained should be immediately…

Death Toll Up to at Least 233 Over Four Days

Update: Death Toll Up to At Least 233 The estimated death toll from four days of protests in cities across Libya has risen to at least 233 according to information from hospital sources in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today. From Benghazi, staff at…

Attacks and Threats Remain a Very Serious Concern

Honduran authorities should take concrete steps to end impunity for abuses committed after the country's 2009 coup, and to curb ongoing attacks against journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists, Human Rights Watch said in a report…

Little Progress on Human Rights after Six Months of Lobo Government

(Washington DC) - Six months after President Porfirio Lobo took office, Honduras has made little progress toward addressing the serious human rights abuses since the 2009 coup, Human Rights Watch said today. Threats and attacks against journalists and the…

Writer Facing State Security Court Trial Over Complaint to Justice Secretary

(New York) - Libyan authorities should immediately release Jamal al-Haji, who was arrested after he submitted a complaint to the government about human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. Al-Haji, who has written about human rights, is…
I recently went to Tripoli, where we held a news conference to release a report about human rights in Libya. That's right - a public event in Libya's capital at which Human Rights Watch staff sharply criticized the government led by Muammar el-Gaddafi.…

Libya's first independent press conference on human rights hints at possible political reform

As a researcher for Human Rights Watch, I travelled to Libya last month for a press conference marking the publication of our latest report about the country. It was an unprecedented occasion. The press conference was attended by Libyan and international…

 I. Summary
  “I need to talk about it, I need
 to feel that my voice is being heard, not just mine but that of all the
 families of the disappeared.  For my family, every celebration, every holiday becomes a funeral
 because they…