Since the 17 February Revolution and the overthrow of Gaddafi, many Libyan journalists have been threatened, assaulted, kidnapped and even killed because of their work. The many incidents of violence between the various factions and armed groups have led to an increase in violations of freedom of information and attacks on those working in the media. Some have been forced to leave the country for their own safety and others are thinking about it. Since the start of this year, Reporters Without Borders has recorded more than 60 violations of freedom of information and has given support to 10 journalists in exile.
The freedom of information organization calls on all parties taking part in the clashes to halt immediately all attacks on civilians and, more specifically, on those working in the media. Journalists have a vital role to play in the new Libya, especially in building a viable and democratic state with a long-term future.
For their part, news organizations and those working for them must show independence and professionalism and remain fully aware of the responsibilities incumbent on them. News providers must bear in mind their essential role in holding official power to account and avoid exacerbating tension and political divisions.
RWB is aware of the serious difficulties and many challenges the new Libyan parliament faces but recalls, however, that every government has a duty to protect its civilian population. The organization therefore calls on the Libyan authorities to use all means necessary to put a stop to the attacks on news providers and call a halt to impunity by bringing those responsible for such crimes to justice.
(Source: Reporters Without Borders)