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

 

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>



Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>

MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news