By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 4 July:
Despite the fact that the revolutionaries of 17 February have won militarily and all the pictures . . .[restrict]and posters glorifying Qaddafi and his regime, the dictator’s influence, it seems is still alive in the minds of many. They may not love him, but Qaddafi’s way of doing things, has left an impression on their character that has yet to disappear. Worse, is that many of these people still hold high positions in the new Libyan state, which is still emerging from the wreckage of 42 years of financial and administrative corruption.
A classic example of this happened just this week, when the Libya Herald attempted to visit the Tripoli Medical Centre in order to report on the conditions of wounded people evacuated to the hospital from Kufra. We wanted to speak with some of the doctors and other staff to ascertain the condition of the hospital and how it was handling the burdens upon it. To our dismay, we were treated in a manner entirely consistent with that which existed under the Qaddafi regime by the hospital’s management.
In spite of having what we assumed would be more than adequate documentation, we were told that even to meet the doctors would be simply impossible. We were told – in fairness with great embarrassment by some of the hospital’s junior staff – that in order to make this visit we would need a permit from the Minister of Health herself and the so-called “Ministry of Media”.
These two stipulations were not just verbal; they were written down and we have the document to prove it. To have to get a permit from a minister for such a simple visit is bad enough, but how, I ask you, are we supposed to get permission from a ministry – the ‘Ministry of Media’ – which does not even exist?!
Is this the transparency and credibility we struggled so hard to achieve? Have the martyrs given their lives for this country, simply in order for some people to take us back to the times of the old regime? At the very least, is it not fair to say the the management of the hospital are behaving as though nothing has changed? Where is the integrity of such people, and where their patriotism? Or are these standards of integrity and transparency only applicable to some people and not to others?