Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said that the crisis for press freedom in Libya has reached an unprecedented level seven years after the country’s revolution.
In a report the RSF explained that the open conflict between two rival governments has made journalism extremely dangerous, condemning the impunity for violence against journalists, who continue to flee abroad.
“The press freedom that began to develop in 2011 has been obliterated since then by political conflict and violence. The state has been torn apart by the power struggle between two rival factions, one in the west and one in the east, a fight that has made journalistic independence impossible and has turned journalists in targets.” The RSF indicated.
The RSF remarked that at least 18 journalists have been killed since the revolution, adding that The two main military factions undermining the state since 2014 are “Al Karama” (Dignity Operation) in Benghazi and “Fajr Libya” (Libya Dawn) in Tripoli.
“Silencing journalists is a permanent goal for the many militias in both factions and their commanders.” The RSF further added.
“In these circumstances and given the prevailing impunity for violence, journalists often have no choice but to flee abroad. Libya has been steadily losing its journalists and media outlets.” The report adds.
According to RSF’s tally, 67 journalists have fled the country and eight Libyan media outlets are now operating from bases in other Middle Eastern countries.
RSF said that it had also registered many cases of disappearances, abduction and torture, especially this year, adding that in most of those cases, the terrorized victims or their families did not want to be identified.
Libya is ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, the report adds.