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Libya Criminalises Glorification of Gaddafi, His Regime, His Sons
02/05/2012 23:35:00
Libya's ruling National Transitional Council on Wednesday passed a number of laws criminalised the glorification of the dead brutal dictator and Muammar Gaddafi, his regime and his sons.

This law and other two laws that aim to protect the nation and the new democratic Libya have been under debate for some time and have been demanded by a large part of the population.

The remnants of pro-Gaddafi elements have exploited the atmosphere of forgiveness and the spirit of reconciliation expressed by the leaders of the uprising and has been working undercover to undermine the state for some time now.

On Wednesday, Libya’s chairman of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, demanded Wednesday that France should extradite Bashir Saleh, a former Gaddafi’s aide and personal secretary for many years.

Gaddafi wife, daughter, four sons and a large number of senior officials of the Gaddafi regime are also taking refuge in some countries with huge amounts of stolen money.

"Praising or glorifying Muammar Gaddfi, his regime, his ideas or his sons... is punishable by a prison sentence," said the text of the law read out to reporters by a judicial official following a high-level meeting.

"If those news reports, rumors or propaganda cause any damage to the state the penalty will be life in prison," the official quoted the text as saying.

"In conditions of war, there is a prison sentence for any person who spreads information and rumors which disrupt military preparations for the defense of the country, spread terror or weaken the citizens' morale," he added.

According to the law, Libya is still in a state of war following the 2011 bloody conflict that pitted Gaddafi loyalists against those who revolted in the face of brutal oppression by Gaddafi for 42 years.

A second law, also governing the transition, stipulates prison sentences for anyone who "attacks the February 17 revolution, denigrates Islam, the authority of the state or its institutions."

A third law was also issued on Wednesday confiscates all property and funds belonging to figures of the previous regime, including Gaddafi’s relatives, putting them under the care of the judiciary.

But the danger of these elements remains as they still find refuge in neighboring Arab countries and a number of European states. These elements who helped the corrupt Gaddafi regime and stole the Libyan people’s wealth are still at large in these country conspiring against the new found democracy and freedom in Libya.
It would be a shame if just emerging from a long and painful period of dictatorship, Libya were to head straight into another spell of dictatorship of another kind. The new laws as disclosed in the article, while well-intentioned, could be open to misuse and create results not anticipated by the lawmakers, and not be very helpful in laying the right foundations for building a democratic Libya, with an open society where all issues could be open to discussion, and decided on merit, resulting in sound, balanced decisions. Recent announcement by the interim government that religion-based parties will be barred from participating in the forthcoming elections and subsequent withdrawal of the provision proves that decisions can not allways be right and the ability to revise or withdraw them shows courage and good sense, and not weakness.

The first law criminalizes glorification of the dead brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi, his regime and his sons. While it may be a popular act, I would think the objective could be better achieved through excellent performance by the new government, which would make people detest the former regime for depriving them of what they could have got much earlier, and without so much suffering. Justifying such legislation claiming that 'Libya is still in a state of war is' is a tool that could be open to widespread misuse.

As for second law, denigrating Islam could definitely not be allowed under any pretext but as for 'attacking February 17 revolution, authority of the state or its institutions, this could in many cases be a matter or opinion, and a biased application of this law could even preclude healthy discussion, even expressing a divergent opinion for fear of being sent to prison, and might mar the decision-making process.

The third law provides for confiscation of all property and funds belonging to figures of the previous regime, including Gaddafi's relatives, putting them under the care of the judiciary. This law also seems to be too-widely drawn. While people in the former regime, whether Muammar Gaddafi's relatives or not, who amassed wealth through corruption and illegal means deserve no compassion, others who associated with the former regime in purely administrative and professional capacity, and performed their duties in an honest and proper manner, should not be hounded unnecessarily just because of their association with the former regime. This could also have the adverse effect of reducing drastically the already very limited pool of capable and experienced professionals in the country.

Libya just emerged from a long period of dictatorship and things are still in a state of flux, and are likely to stay that way for a some time and this fact should be accepted by all. With so many variables, it is just not possible to get things right the first time and a lot of trial-and-error will be involved. In such a situation, maximum flexibility will be required to deal satisfactorily, and not always perfectly, with the situation and unfortunately legislation, apart from being open to misuse, does not leave much room to manoeuvre, and hence should be resorted to only in extreme circumstances and when absolutely unavoidable.

- Karachi / Pakistan

A doomed state with dodgy leaders and oil capitalists.
Please learn a lesson: if you make a law saying anyone who insults the state or the people is a criminal it WILL be used by dictators to block free speech - if not today then tomorrow. Someone is going to say something criticizing a minister and he will say but I am the state and the police will knock on someones door.....sound familiar?

Free speech means just what it says - free speech for GOOD OR BAD. That is Gods law. Do you think there are state censors in heaven, only the devil needs them not the angels.

A man may be stupid wrong or politically and religiously opposed to you but if he is not free to say it to you or anyone else then NEITHER OF YOU ARE FREE.

You are all back in thought and speech dictatorship.

You have all been down this road before - you fought for free speech - so keep it.

Tell your lawmakers NO THANKS. Many Libyans died so even wrong thoughts and ideas could be freely expressed.

If free speech goes from Libya my advice is leave and try to live overseas because no-one is going to come to help again when the dark men take over.

Some people in the west said the Libyans cant have democracy - they need a dictator - why was that I wonder?

Here is how it goes - first a law criminalizing free speech - then you close bits of the internet - then only government approved TV and radio is allowed, then boo ya - you are all back in the great Libyan Jambalaya USSR.

Good luck with the new road....if that is what you really want.
Al Qaeeda criminals are governing a country that will end up in a civil war very soon. Criminals
I guess you do not want any tourists then. What people feel they should be allowed to express freely, otherwise they are not free.

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