World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Urges Libya to Reconsider New Law Curbing Free Expression

UN Rights Office Urges Libya to Reconsider New Law Curbing Free Expression

New York, Feb 18 2014 - Libya’s new law could place undue restrictions on freedom of expression and opinion, the United Nations human rights office today warned while also expressing concern about an increasing number of attacks against journalists in recent months.

The warning coincides with the third anniversary of the 2011 Libyan uprising which overthrew Muammar al-Qadhafi and began a democratic transition in the country.

The new Law No. 5 imposes prison sentences on any person “undermining the February 17 Revolution” and for “publicly insulting one of the legislative, executive or judicial authorities.”

“Law No. 5 of 2014 certainly appears to go against the spirit of the [revolution],” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told reporters in Geneva.

She highlighted that one of the key documents adopted soon after the revolution was the Constitutional Declaration, which states that freedom of opinion, freedom of communication, liberty of the press, printing, publication and mass media, and freedom of assembly shall be guaranteed by the State in accordance with the law.

“We call upon the General National Congress to reconsider these legislative amendments to ensure compliance with international human rights standards, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Libya has ratified,” Ms. Shamdasani said.

OHCHR said it is ready to assist authorities in revamping the legislation through its human rights division at the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Also today, the UN human rights office condemned recent violence against journalists in the country and called for impartial, speedy, and effective investigations into the attacks.

OHCHR has received reports of “killings, intimidation, abductions and other attacks” against journalists and media workers in the country. Among these, three separate incidents of journalists being abducted in Sabha, Tripoli and Benghazi, and attacks on TV stations Libya Al-Ahrar and al-Aseema in Benghazi and Tripoli respectively.

Looking forward to the beginning of the process of drafting the constitution in Libya, OHCHR said it hopes that Libya will use this opportunity to build upon the commitments made in the Constitutional Declaration and “firmly enshrine human rights principles, including the right to freedom of expression and opinion, in the legal system.”

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news