Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Libyan chaos

While supporters of the NATO intervention still write optimistic articles, although even they start to become worried about the thousands of Gaddafi supporters who are still kept in prison and the hundreds of thousands who live in exile, the pessimist voices are increasing.

Dan Glazebrook has written about the post-revolutionary law in Libya, where you can go for live in prison for praising Gaddafi while the revolutionary fighters have been pardoned from all their war crimes. He has also documented how the attack on Libya prevented African unity and led to trouble in Mali.

Libya struggles to come to terms with the past discusses the proposals for an isolation law that should keep higher Gaddafi officials out of office. The proposal now fielded would apply to a very large group.

Egyptian Christians allege torture at hands of Libyan Islamists reports about some Egyptians small traders who worked on the Benghazi vegetable market and were imprisoned and tortured by Salafists. It mention also that several Catholic nuns, serving at hospitals and in elder care have been driven from the country. Repression of Christians living in Libya is on the rise, according to human rights watchers. In mid-February four foreigners -- an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a U.S. passport -- were arrested on charges of distributing Bibles and other religious material.

Libya’s politicians get a wake-up call tells about Hassan al-Amin, a member of parliament who resigned because of death threats and is now living in exile in London. The article also describes an incident on 5 March when armed protesters tried to pressure parliament in adopting a stringent political isolation law that would force many present office holders to resign and open the door to more Islamist influence. On March 7, gunmen stormed the headquarters of the privately-owned Alassema television station (see photo above) in retaliation for its coverage of the isolation law debate.[..] Amin's resignation also highlighted frustration within GNC at the increasingly influential role being played by the Grand Mufti (the highest official of religious law in Libya), who has repeatedly used his position to influence the political agenda

Moammar Gaddhafi, Giantslayer: The Libyan Intervention in Retrospect is the first publication I encountered that discusses the Libyan intervention as a failure.

Libya's original freedom fighter vows to carry on battle for peace: Death threats from the Libyan militias have driven Gaddafi's former nemesis, Hassan al-Amin, to take refuge in London

Libya's politicians duke it out with the Supreme Court discusses how Libyan politicians have modified the Constitutional Declaration - that serves as interim constitution - to prevent the isolation law from being challenged at the supreme court. The isolation law would prevent former government employees under Gaddafi from holding public office in Libya for 5 to 10 years. It is in conflict with an anti-discrimination clause in the constitution.

Isolation Law harms Libya’s democratic transition (8 May 2013): The isolation law has now been adopted by parliament - under pressure from armed militias who had occupied many buildings inside Tripoli. The isolation law is draconian and unfair, targeting all officials who ever worked with Qaddafi, spanning a period from [his] coup on September 1, 1969, to October 23, 2011, when liberation from his regime was declared in Benghazi. The ban applies regardless of the types of jobs held by the individuals in question or whether they opposed Qaddafi before or during the revolution.
The law is intended to come into effect on June 6, and the GNC has a mechanism to replace the now-isolated members who were elected by the Libyan people as their representatives in July of last year. The runner-up candidates will replace the "isolated" representatives that ran as independents, and candidates who ran under a party banner will be replaced by the next candidate on the party list, assuming that they have not been "isolated" themselves.
Former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibri estimated that the number of Libyans isolated by the law is around half a million. It's not clear how this segment of society will react. Many Libyans have taken to social media to point out similarities between the groups behind the isolation law and the revolutionary committees that Qaddafi established after his coup in 1969. The committees invaded all government institutions and installed a "Revolutionary Guard." It seems that history is repeating itself.

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