Violations Against Libyan Journalists Documented


On Tuesday, the Libyan Organization for Independent Media (LOFIM) documented 21 violations against journalists in Libya during the period from 15 May 2022, to 15 May 2023.

In its annual report, the organization stressed the need to “establish a unified syndicate for all journalists that guarantees their rights and protects their professional rights, and defends them before relevant authorities.”

LOFIM indicated that the abuses included attacks on journalists and violations of their economic and social rights violation. In addition to passing laws inconsistent with international press freedom standards.

According to the report, the organization stated that the most documented cases include economic and social rights violations against journalists, by not paying their financial dues.

The other documented violations, included filing defamation complaints against journalists, kidnapping threats, harassment, and physical assault.

The report noted that 84% of journalists who have been subjected to abuse are Libyans. 26% of the violations were against female journalists.

They reported that 53% of these violations were in Tripoli, 11% in Benghazi, and 5% each in Sabratah and Tobruk.

LOFIM investigated these violations through various interviews with activists, journalists, victims, their social circles, and other media outlet workers, as well as through monitoring government actions in Libya.

The report recommends that Libyan authorities and the international community “take action to protect media freedoms in Libya through measures including passing laws to repeal legislation that punishes peaceful expression criminally, international involvement in holding perpetrators of violence against journalists accountable, and having Libyan authorities adopt the UN’s ‘Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity’.”

LOFIM called on all state institutions to protect journalists and media institutions. It also urged the Libyan authorities to take further steps to protect press freedom, and provide an enabling environment for the media.

It also called on the legislative authority to issue a new law regulating the media in Libya, and to abolish legislation that imposes penalties up to death for crimes related to the peaceful expression of opinion.

Notably, the United States Embassy in Libya called for the protection of journalists and freedom of expression in Libya.

“In many countries, journalists risk their lives to inform the public and hold governments accountable. On World Press Freedom Day, we must resolve to protect journalists and the freedom of expression, offline and online, in Libya or in any country,” the US Embassy said in May 2022.

It added that “the detention of 218TV’s Ali Al-Rifawi or the extra-judicial killing of blogger Altayeb Elsharari are examples showing that there is still work to do in order to guarantee press freedom.”