Libyan report to UN: We protect all rights and freedoms

More quotes below from the UN Human Rights Council’s report on Libya, scheduled for adoption in the current March session. See our previous post here.

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Summary

During the interactive dialogue, statements were made by 46 delegations. A number of delegations commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the preparation and presentation of its national report, noting the broad consultation process with stakeholders in the preparation phase.  Several delegations also noted with appreciation the country’s commitment to upholding human rights on the ground…

Presentation by Libya

The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya believed that the promotion and protection of human rights was one of the most important factors for the progress and development of the people. The first declaration of the Great Alfateh Revolution in 1969 had called for equality and non-discrimination, and in 1977 the People’s Authority had been declared. In 1988, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had issued the Great Green Document on Human Rights, which provided that all human beings were born free and equal, with no difference between men and women. In 1991, Law No. 20 on Strengthening Freedoms had also been enacted. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was party to most human rights treaties and the protocols thereto, and those instruments took precedence over national laws and could be directly applied by the courts once they had been ratified.

10. The delegation noted that all rights and freedoms were contained in a coherent, consolidated legal framework. The legal guarantees formed the basis for protection of the basic rights of the people. Further, abuses that might occur were dealt with by the judiciary, and the perpetrators were brought before justice. The judiciary safeguarded the rights of individuals and was assisted by other entities, most importantly the Office of the Public Prosecutor. A National Human Rights Commission, with a mandate based on the Paris Principles, had also been established, in 2007. The aforementioned entities were complemented by newly established mechanisms, such as civil society organizations established under Law No. 19 of 2001. 11. Protection of human rights was guaranteed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; this included not only political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya referred to its pioneering experience in the field of wealth distribution and labour rights.

Freedom of Expression, Information Networks

16. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya noted that laws safeguarded freedom of expression through principles enshrined in the Great Green Document. Article 5 promoted the right of expression of every person. This right had been enshrined in the Code on the Promotion of Freedom, which, in its article 8, stated that “each citizen has the right to express his opinions and ideas openly in People’s Congresses and in all mass media, no citizen is questioned on the exercise of this right unless this has been abused in a way that prejudices the People’s Authority or is used for personal interest, and it is prohibited to advocate ideas and opinions in a clandestine manner or to seek to disseminate them through force, temptation or terrorism”. Additionally, it was a basic law with which all contradictory or conflicting legislation should be compatible and was to be amended accordingly. In the context of freedom of expression, each citizen, male or female, who had reached the age of 18 was entitled to membership in the Basic People’s Congresses and, by virtue of that membership, had the right to express his or her opinion on any matter. Further, in view of the growth of information networks, restrictions imposed on freedom of expression had become an obsolete issue and such freedom could be prevented. With regarding to revoking legislation that restricted freedom of expression, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya indicated that such legislation does not exist and that Libyan basic law explicitly mentioned freedom of expression.

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