Tripoli, 25 January 2013:
Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) . . .[restrict]has urged the General National Congress (GNC) to ensure that the proposed ‘Political Isolation Law’ does not violate the constitutional and human rights of Libyans.
The draft law, initially approved by the GNC on 26 December, would exclude anyone associated with the former regime from holding public office or senior government posts. The committee responsible for drafting the law is expected to present the final details to Congress this coming week.
“The exclusion of anyone from political or public office must be done on the basis of previous criminal acts and not on the mere fact that they were associated with, or worked for, the previous regime,” said Elham Saudi, Director of LFJL.
“The proposed law – or any law – must not be used to circumvent proper accountability processes or the promotion of justice through the due process of law. The cost of doing so can only erode, rather than promote, the rule of law in Libya,” she added.
During its recent Destoori and Rehlat Watan campaigns, where members of the NGO visited over 30 cities and communities across the country, LFJL said: “It became clear that the fate of individuals associated with the former regime was a highly-debated subject.”
LFJL pointed out that national reconciliation could not be achieved if laws were used as tools of revenge against former regime officials. “The law should not be used as a way of punishing or disenfranchising perceived loyalists. Doing so would be in clear violation of basic human rights,” said Saudi.
The NGO, which promotes justice and human rights in Libya, said it “strongly urges the GNC to engage Libyans across the country and across political affiliations, through a broad-based and inclusive consultation process with civil society before proceeding with the proposed law.”
LFJL is the second NGO to raise concerns about the proposed law. On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch warned that if the law failed to meet both international and Libyan laws, it risked violating the country’s constitutional law. [/restrict]