News News to go further Libya’s journalists are still among the leading victims of the political turmoil and violence that have been a constant ever since Col. Gaddafi’s overthrow in the 2011 revolution.Armed clashes are continuing despite an attempt by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to broker a ceasefire and talks between the various political players and armed factions two weeks ago in the remote town of Ghadames. June 24, 2020 Find out more RSF_en Receive email alerts LibyaMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information On Libyan revolution’s 10th anniversary, authorities urged to guarantee press freedom Organisation News LibyaMiddle East – North Africa February 23, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders condemns the murder of Al-Tayeb Issa, one of the founders of privately-owned satellite TV station Tuareg Tumsat, in southwestern Libya on 5 October and radio presenter Motassem Al-Warfalli’s murder three days later in the eastern city of Benghazi.Issa’s bullet-riddled body was found on the road between Ghat and Obari, where he was from. His car had been set on fire. A colleague said that Issa, who was the TV station’s financial director, was a respected and discreet person who had never received threats.Obari has seen armed clashes between members of the Tebu and Tuareg communities since mid-September. They began when Tuaregs, who reportedly came from another region and support the armed Islamist coalition known as Operation Libya Dawn, tried to take over Obari’s main gas station, until then protected by a local Tebu force.Warfalli, a young presenter on Radio Sawt Libya Al-Watan, was murdered by gunmen who fired on him from a car and then sped away. He was known as a supporter of Ansar Al-Sharia, a group regarded as a terrorist organization by the Libyan government and the United States.Although the motives for these murders are still unknown, Reporters Without Borders does not rule out the possibility that they were linked to the victims’ journalistic work and urges the Libyan authorities to carry out swift investigations that take account of this possibility.This duty was stressed in the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution of 22 September on the “Safety of journalists”.It urged Libya, like other countries, to conduct “impartial, speedy, thorough, independent and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction, to bring perpetrators including, inter alia, those who command, conspire to commit, aid and abet or cover up such crimes to justice, and to ensure that victims and their families have access to appropriate remedies.”Reporters Without Borders reiterates its deep concern about the fate of Libya’s journalists, who are finding it increasingly difficult to practice their profession without fear of being persecuted, attacked or murdered.Media still being targetedAn armed group attacked Al-Midan FM, a privately-owned radio station in Zawiya, a town 40 km west of Tripoli, on the night of 9 October, removing its transmitter, other equipment and material and badly damaging some of its installations. The station had continued to broadcast political and social programmes despite getting many threats.In a statement on its Facebook page, the station accused those behind the “terrorist and cowardly attack” of wanting to “silence free media and take them over.” No group has so far claimed responsibility.Mo’az Al-Thaleeb, a presenter on the privately-owned satellite TV station Al-Assima, was kidnapped in the central Tripoli district of Salah El-Din on the evening of 10 October and was held for two days before being release. A member of the family said he was held at Al-Yarmouk military camp, which is controlled by Tripoli-based revolutionary militias and by Operation Libya Dawn. Al-Thaleeb, who is also studying social sciences, had previously received threats in connection with his journalistic work.In recent months, several radio stations have stopped broadcasting certain programmes, especially political ones, or have stopped broadcasting altogether. Many newspapers, such as Al-Mayadeen in Tripoli and Al-Ahwal in Benghazi, have also stopped publishing for fear of being attacked by armed groups.Such decisions by news media to censor themselves or stop working reinforce the feeling of fear within the media throughout Libya. The increasing frequency with which journalists flee the country after threats, attacks or murder attempts also highlights the level of danger for those who continue to work at great risk to themselves.Reporters Without Borders reiterates the fundamental importance of freedom of information in any democratic society, especially one in transition such as Libya. Despite rampant political instability and violence, it is vital that all political and military actors should respect this freedom, one enshrined in article 14 of Libya’s Constitutional Declaration, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in other treaties and conventions to which Libya is a party.Libya’s media personnel must also respect the basic principles of journalistic ethics and conduct by covering events as professionally and impartially as possible, with a constant concern for independence, transparency and objectivity, the bases of good journalism. News Six imprisoned journalists to finally appear in court in Istanbul December 17, 2019 Find out more Well-known Libyan journalist missing since his arrest October 14, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Libya still extremely dangerous for journalists Follow the news on Libya
The National Football League has said players should be allowed to protest during the national anthem as rallies against racial discrimination continue.“We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.The NFL had previously banned players from dropping to one knee, a practice started by Colin Kaepernick in 2016.Meanwhile, a large protest is expected in Washington DC on Saturday.The demonstration is the latest in a series against police brutality and racism that have been held across the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May.Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man in handcuffs, died after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer has been charged with murder while three colleagues stand accused of aiding and abetting. What did the NFL commissioner say?In a video, Mr Goodell denounced racism in the US in comments that came shortly after a number of players urged the NFL to take a stronger stance on racism and police brutality in the country.“We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter. Protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff,” he said.“I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve.”President Donald Trump has stridently opposed kneeling during the national anthem, and on Friday again voiced his opposition to such protests, saying on Twitter: “We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!” He criticised New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for dropping his opposition to NFL kneeling protests.Brees responded on Saturday by saying: “We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.”What’s the story behind Kaepernick’s kneeling?The practice of kneeling during the customary pre-game playing of the national anthem was started by black player Colin Kaepernick in 2016 in protest against racial injustice.A number of other players soon joined Kaepernick, who was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers at the time. He became a free agent after the 2016 season and remains unsigned. Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners in October 2017, believing they were conspiring not to hire him because of his kneeling protests.The two sides resolved the grievance in February under a confidentiality agreement.What else is happening in the US?On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights agreed to ban police neck restraints and chokeholds.The new policy, which will be enforceable in court, requires any officer regardless of rank to verbally and physically intervene if they witness a colleague using such unauthorised force. Meanwhile, California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom said he would move to end state police training in the use of the “carotid restraint”.San Diego police banned the technique this week. Officials in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles have all previously taken steps to ban or limit the use of chokeholds by members of their police departments.Meanwhile, a federal judge in Denver has ordered police to stop the use of tear gas, plastic bullets and other non-lethal force on peaceful protesters. The order came after four protesters filed a lawsuit against aggressive police action.In a separate development, President Trump was condemned by his Democratic challenger Joe Biden for invoking Floyd’s name in a speech to mark a surprise US jobs rebound.