Journalists recommend enforcing media law in accordance with Article 174 of the Libyan constitution

Tripoli, September 25

The Libyan Center for Freedom of Press resumes the national initiative of the preparation and drafting of the “Document for the Respect of the Freedom of Expression and the Independence of Media Institutions. In this initiative, a group of journalists and jurists participated in a wide series of discussion sessions and focus groups, which aim at sharing opinions and searching for common ground among all actors in press and media sector

The discussion in the working sessions focused on examining the multiple attempts over the past years to regulate the Libyan media sector, the impact of the political division and armed conflict on public media, and the search for a vision to restructure the media sector in accordance with the governance principles and international standards

The participants focused on the necessity of defining the structural organization of the media sector and including it within the structure of the state. It would ensure its independence from the government. This should be through the activation of the law on establishing the Higher Council for Media, as stipulated in the Constitutional Article No. 174 within the chapter Independent Bodies in the draft Libyan constitution, which explicitly provides for the independence of media

The participants discussed the legal framework necessary for the structural organization, the need to protect reputation and privacy, and the importance of adopting a structural organization. Regulating the Sector is possible through the issuance of a new law for the press and publication that defines the tasks and duties of the National Union of Journalists, and the enforcement of the law on the right to access information

More than 150 Libyan journalists and jurists will participate in the discussion sessions in 5 Libyan cities during the last quarter of this year. The goal is to prepare the provisions of the document for “the Respect of the Freedom of Expression and the Independence of Media Institutions. We will later collect signatures from parties, political entities and candidates to the upcoming national Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The purpose is to get pledges from them to work with civil society and journalists in the future and pass new laws regulating media and ending the state of chaos in media in a way that achieves independence and freedom of the press and guarantees the economic and social rights of journalists

It is noteworthy that the Libyan Center for Freedom of Press had started holding discussion sessions in the last quarter of 2018, but they stopped in 2019 because of the violent war launched by General Khalifa Haftar’s forces to control Tripoli, which failed, just before the planned date of holding the National Conference in Ghadames at that time

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October 3, 2021