News and Events

A Guide to Freedom of Expression in Libya

17 November 2017

A Guide to Freedom of Expression in Libya (the Guide) has been authored by Lawyers for Justice in Libya thanks to the assistance of International Media Support. It is intended to provide support for media stakeholders and identify human rights recommendations for the Libyan State. It is available to download here.

Libya’s legal framework is, at present, inconsistent and at times contradictory. This ambiguity has led to confusion as to the exact status of current freedom of expression rights

and restrictions. Thomas Ebbs, Director of Research noted “This confusion regarding the state of the law is dangerous. Libyan State authorities have repeatedly relied on laws to repress expression that they previously announced were repealed for being unconstitutional.”

The Guide is as an effort to remove some of the uncertainty regarding the status of freedom of expression rights and restrictions. It looks at the protections available in Libya’s domestic law, which laws can be used to restrict expression, the actions of those regulating the media, and possible future constitutional developments.

Ebbs said “For media practitioners and civil society, the Guide provides a tool to use against repressive activities and identifies what we collectively need to rally against. For the Libyan State, it is a blueprint for how to live up to human rights standards and the promises made in the Constitutional Declaration. It spells out the laws that need to change.”

LFJL wishes to use this opportunity to call upon the Libyan State to take action to restart its effort to ensure human rights are protected by national legislation. Further, LFJL urges the Constitutional Drafting Assembly to remove the many weaknesses, identified by the Guide, that make the current draft inconsistent with Libya’s human rights obligations. Key stakeholders of freedom of expression, particularly the media, are strongly encouraged to resist repressive laws whenever possible. 

If you have comments you wish to share about the report, improvements you wish to recommend, or have been affected by unlawful freedom of expression restrictions, please contact

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