Rights group urges Libya to revoke speech law

By Updated at 2012-05-05 16:20:32 +0000


TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The New-York based Human Rights Watch has urged the new government in Libya to revoke a law that criminalizes those glorifying the former dictator Moammar Gadhafi or spreading "propaganda" that insults or endangers the state.

The group said Saturday that the law passed earlier this week is a throwback to Gadhafi's laws restricting freedom of speech and was a violation of Libya's new commitment to international human rights law.

The law criminalizes spreading "false" news or "propaganda" that endangers the country's security. The law says glorifying Gadhafi and his regime is included in such crimes.

The group's regional director, Sarah Leah Whitson, said the law was a "slap" to all those imprisoned under Gadhafi for defending human rights.