By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 27 December 2014:
The year has been the worst year ever for press freedom in Libya, reports the . . .[restrict]Libya Centre for Press Freedom (LCPF).
The LCPF’s Monitoring Unit has documented numerous cases of threats and violence against journalists and other media personnel including intimidation,abductions and murders.
Benghazi tops the list with at least five media personnel murdered there in 2014. There were, additionally nine failed attempts to kill journalists. LCPF also cites Tripoli and Sebha as cities that have seen serious violence against media workers.
In Derna extremists have forced journalists not to report on their activities in the town. Impunity has become an increasing problem, LCPF stated, with law enforcement and judicial bodies rarely taking any action against the perpetrators. This has led to an increase in violence without fear of accountability. In addition to aggression towards individuals, LCPF cited pressure on media outlets to limit reporting. This has led to the closure of some papers and broadcasters and the takeover of others.
The marked regression in press freedom follows its flowering after the fall of the Qaddafi regime, said LCPF.
Meanwhile, in its year-end survey Reporters without Borders’ (RSF) lists eastern Libya as one of the five most dangerous places in the world for journalists.
“As the country plunges deeper and deeper into chaos, the war between rival militias disposes of inconvenient witnesses with complete impunity,” reports RSF. “Three journalists were gunned down on the street in the space of five months in 2014. The youngest was 18. Nine other journalists were kidnapped. No one keeps count any more of those detained or threatened.” “Carrying a camera or a press card,”RSF added, “takes a lot of courage.” [/restrict]