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Libya lifts law banning Gaddafi glorification

Friday, June 15, 2012

 

 

AFP Photo / Mahmud Turkia

Libya’s Supreme Court has annulled a law that criminalized praising late leader Muammar Gaddafi and his regime, following an outrage among civil groups and legal experts describing it as undemocratic.

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On Thursday, court head Judge Kamal Bashir Dahan ruled that the new law, passed in May, Reuters reports.

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“In the name of the people, the court has decided to accept the appeal of Law 37 of 2012 as it is unconstitutional,” he said in a brief hearing.

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Under that law, passed by the National Transitional Council, praising or glorifying the ousted Colonel Gaddafi was punishable by a prison sentence ranging from three to 15 years. The law also criminalized spreading news or information “harming the February 17 revolution.”

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The Supreme Court agreed to review Law 37 after lawyer Saleh al-Marghani appealed it, saying it violated freedom of expression.

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“This law is unconstitutional as it prevents freedom of speech. We are nearing elections and a basic step is to ensure there is freedom of speech,” he said.
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Democracy seems to be trailing in post-Gaddafi Libya, where those who toppled the strongman’s regime have appeared to deploy the same repressive tactics against their opponents.

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RT.

 15 June, 2012