International

Libya's High Court Strikes Down Law Banning Glorification Of Gadhafi

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010, before the current conflict. Now that the U.S. military has intervened in Libya, many wonder what the endgame is. i i

hide captionLibyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010, before the current conflict. Now that the U.S. military has intervened in Libya, many wonder what the endgame is.

Mahmud Turkia /AFP/Getty Images
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010, before the current conflict. Now that the U.S. military has intervened in Libya, many wonder what the endgame is.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010, before the current conflict. Now that the U.S. military has intervened in Libya, many wonder what the endgame is.

Mahmud Turkia /AFP/Getty Images

Libya's Supreme Court decided on Thursday that its citizens should have the right to glorify Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled the country for more than three decades until his ouster last year.

Law 37, which called for prison sentences for those who spoke well of Gadhafi and for those who published bad news about the February 17 revolution, was challenged by a lawyer who argued the law violated the freedom of speech.

Reuters reports the high court agreed. The wire service adds:

"Appealing lawyer Salah Al-Merghani welcomed the decision, which came before the country heads to the ballot box on July 7 to elect a national assembly, paving the way for a new constitution.

"'This law is unconstitutional as it prevents the freedom of speech. We are nearing elections and a basic step is to ensure there is freedom of speech,' he said."

The BBC reports this decision is important in another manner: It gives Libyans more confidence in the judiciary because it proves that it is independent. "Not long ago... the former regime and the country's judiciary were seen by Libyans as one and the same," the BBC reports.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: