Tripoli, 27 September:
A new State of Emergency law is being considered for implementation by the National Congress, it was announced yesterday.
The . . .[restrict]exact details of the legislation have yet to be revealed, but those involved have insisted that it could only be enacted under specific circumstances and only with authorisation from the Congress.
Reaction to the news has been mixed, with some local journalists present at the announcement concerned that any such law would send the wrong message about Libya.
There have also been concerns that the law could be open to abuse without the requisite legal safeguards being put in place.
In neighbouring Egypt, a State of Emergency law was implemented by Hosni Mubarak in 1971, which suspended all constitutional rights and legalised censorship, and was not revoked until May of this year, 15 months after the ousting of the Mubarak regime.
However, Congress spokesman Omar Hmaidan insisted that no comparable powers would be contained in any law passed in Libya.
“The State of Emergency would only be used in specific localities to deal with specific issues”, he said. “It could only be enacted by a specific Congress decree”.
Hmaidan cited the recent unrest in the Nafusa Mountains as an example of when the legislation could be used.
Back in June, more than 100 people were killed and several thousand displaced by clashes in the mountains between militia from Zintan and the Mashasha tribe.
The area was declared a military zone by the government at the time, with the National Army authorised to use force to implement a ceasefire and roads in and out of the area were closed to civilian traffic. [/restrict]