- Title: LIBYA: Journalists say Libya still has little press freedom
- Date: 11th July 2013
- Summary: LIBYA, TRIPOLI (JULY 5, 2013) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PRESS AUTHORITY BUILDING SIGN ON BUILDING READING (Arabic and English): 'AUTHORITY TO SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE THE PRESS'
- Embargoed: 26th July 2013 13:00
- Location: Libya
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Communications,General,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAB0QDB5K6O5782UVWFIG4PHGAS
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Nearly two years after the revolution that toppled former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, newspaper editors in Tripoli said they are not experiencing the level of press freedom that they had hoped for.
Since the revolution, a large number of independent newspapers have sprung up in Libya, free from the censorship experienced during Gaddafi's rule.
But the editor of a local newspaper in the capital said journalism is still suffering from a lack of press freedom as seen in the days before the revolution of 2011.
"After the victory of the February revolution, we were positive that after the victory, journalism would have more freedom, more credibility, but the reality sadly is that journalism is still restrained, there are many groups who do not want journalism to be free and to have the word as it is with credibility," said Mona Al-Raqiq, editor-in-chief of February newspaper.
In May, Reporters without Borders said there was cause for "grave concern about recent violent attacks on Libyan journalists, whose safety conditions are deteriorating drastically".
Recent attacks in Libya included the detention and beating of a correspondent for Al-Arabiya, who was led away from a protest at the Foreign Ministry and held for several hours.
In another example, an employee of an international news outlet was forced out of his car and threatened with a gun.
The national television network was also stormed in May, while several other journalists have reported being held, threatened or abused while covering protests in the capital.
Emad Al Ala'am, editor-in-chief at Libya newspaper, said that despite all the dangers facing the media, he would carry on reporting.
"We were threatened many times and threatened with guns more than once. Our journalists were arrested many times at checkpoints and prisons during their coverage and we had many problems, but we will not stop, this is journalism . If we back off it wont be in the people's interest and we won't stop," he said.
Before the uprising that drove Gaddafi from power, state censors held the media under tight scrutiny and newspapers often published identical articles provided by the state.
Journalists who broke the rules were jailed or kidnapped.
"The thing that Libyan journalism is missing is strong government support, because this is a time where there is money and potential, the more the potential and support for journalism support during these times, the more journalism will extend and spread," said a resident in Tripoli.
Reporters without borders have recently called on the Libyan government to act to protect those working in the media.
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