UNSMIL Calls For Protection of Journalists in Libya

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On Sunday, Acting SRSG and Head of the United Nations Special Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams called on all parties to the conflict to protect journalists and media workers.

She stressed the need to guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the right to seek, receive and impart information to the public.

In her message on World Press Freedom Day, Williams said that independent media, free from intimidation and threats, was crucial to laying the foundations of democracy.

She paid tribute to the brave journalists in Libya who, despite rising intimidation and violence, continue to carry out their duties under extremely difficult circumstances.

Since the beginning of the conflict, many journalists and media workers have laid down their lives in the course of their duties.

She added that journalists are the voice of the voiceless and should not be silenced, stating that truth should not become yet another casualty of the ongoing war.

The Head of UNSMIL stated that a free press was crucial in providing facts, information and analysis, as well as holding leaders accountable.

Williams also denounced the dramatic increase, both online and offline, of misinformation, incitement to violence, and hate speech, including threats against media workers.

She noted that this has fostered a climate of mistrust, fear and violence among different groups, contributing to the deepening of pre-existing divisions in Libya and further weakening an already fragile social fabric.