Lawyers or Justice in Libya (LFJL) is proud to announce the launch of its Sawti Human Rights Expression Competition ‘Abber (which means “express” in Arabic). This arts and literature contest seeks to encourage debate on human rights issues in Libya and promote creative expression through different forms of media.
The ongoing deterioration of the security situation in Libya has had a severe impact on the enjoyment of freedom of expression. Journalists and media workers have been repeatedly targeted for the nature of their work. This has resulted in assassinations, kidnappings and violent attacks on the premises of media stations. Recently, in August 2014, workers from both Al Barqa TV and Al-Assema TV were reportedly abducted while carrying out their assignments. The studios of Al-Assema TV were also attacked and ransacked. In response to such security threats the content of news reporting has become increasingly politicised. As a result, self-censorship and selective news reporting of events have become widespread practices which undermine rights to freedom of expression and freedom of information.
‘Abber hopes to create space to encourage freedom of expression during this uncertain time. It offers an excellent opportunity for Libyan journalists, writers, photographers, film-makers, and singers to engage with human rights issues and showcase their extraordinary talents. Leading experts in the field will consider submissions and there will be the opportunity to win fantastic prizes.
Through ‘Abber, LFJL seeks to emphasise the value that freedom of expression and other human rights offer to Libyan society. Elham Saudi, LFJL Director, said “Peace and democracy are built on the respect of fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression. Ensuring the protection and promotion of this right should be a key priority for all Libyans and should be actively encouraged by the newly established House of Representatives.”