By Libya Herald staff
Tripoli, 18 November 2014:
In light of the repeated kidnappings, arrests, assassinations and threats made to journalists in Libya . . .[restrict]over the past year, the Libyan Centre for Defense of Journalists has warned that Libya is moving toward another dictatorship, should such attempts to suppress freedom of expression continue unchallenged.
The result of these violations of human rights has been that reporting from inside Libya has become scarce. Journalists, bloggers and other media professionals have fled the country, leaving behind few eyewitnesses who are willing or able to speak of events taking place inside, the centre said in a report.
A number of bloggers are no longer updating their websites and activists have ceased to appear on television for fear of being pursued by armed groups. Many newspapers and magazines are no longer being printed, and political programmes have ceased at a number of radio stations, particularly in Tripoli, the report went on to say.
The centre warned that without freedom of the press, Libya’s nascent democracy would fail, corruption would increase and a new dictatorship would be established.
“Freedom of the press allows for the exposure of corruption and the abuse of power. Where corruption is reduced, high levels of development are achieved,” the centre stressed.
Calling on all armed groups to refrain from threatening journalists and media organisations, the centre also urged journalists and other media professionals to maintain a high standard of credibility by confirming all news before publishing and remaining unbiased.
The centre is a subsidiary of the Libyan Centre for the Support of Democracy and Human Rights (LCDHR). Fournded in October 2013, its overall objective is to support the democratic process in Libya to contribute to the building of a modern and democratic state. [/restrict]