Local and international protection networks

Updated:April 2016


Here are two examples of NGOs based both in Libya and across the world which can help Libyan freelancers in crisis.

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Lawyers for Justice in Libya

If you’re a freelancer in Libya in need of legal advice, the work of Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) may be able to help.

Thomas Ebbs, Acting Director of LFJL, told RPT about their general work to promote human rights in Libya: “We have several major programmes, namely related to freedom of expression, constitution building and legal reform, strategic litigation, and international advocacy, which means bringing Libyan human rights issues to an international forum.” But what can they do precisely for Libyan journalists and freelancers in crisis?

According to Ebbs, raising awareness of the importance of freedom of expression and protecting this fundamental human right is a core part of their work. Collaborating with various media  professionals as well as LCFP, they’re working to further build the capacity of journalists - this includes activities as diverse as offering hostile environment training, facilitating discussions on developing a code of ethics for Libyan media professionals, and raising awareness of what constitutes hate speech.

Ebbs adds: “We’re about to launch an online media platform, www.Mushahid.ly, which will allow journalists to engage on topics related to professional responsibility and self regulation.”

Crucially, if a Libyan journalist or freelancer has experienced a human rights abuse, LFJL may also be able to help them gain access to legal redress. LFJL can provide advice on what details will be of importance to their eventual case and help ensure that physical or virtual evidence of the violation are kept secure and admissible. They may also be able to help by providing supporting evidence and potentially collaborate with other human rights organisations to strengthen the case. 

“As an example, if someone complains to us about their freedom of expression being curtailed and that the Libyan state has failed to remedy this, we can work with them to bring their case to the attention of international or regional human rights mechanisms, such as the UN Human Rights Committee,” said Ebbs. Cases are undertaken as part of LFJL's Strategic Litigation Programme, which is supported by Hannah Offermann and Ali Agab Nour. LFJL's current work under this programme focuses on individuals who have endured torture but other abuses are considered.

Although they are based in London with a discreet office in Tripoli, their team works across other cities and have partners in Benghazi, Misrata and more - they have also established a growing network of Libyan lawyers and activists, working on the ground with them.

If you’re a freelancer or journalist in Libya and in need of help, get in touch with them:

info@libyanjustice.org
+44 (0) 20 7253 1711
 

The Libyan Center for Freedom of Press 

Libya’s fractured political system and a growing number of security challenges now pose the most serious threats to journalists in the country. This is according to the Libyan Center for Freedom of Press (LCFP), who monitor press freedom violations and highlight attacks against journalists, including freelancers, in Libya. But what else can the organisation do to help?

“We provide direct, practical assistance to journalists. We also have a hotline, which is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Nizar Ibrahim, co-founder of LCFP. “Journalists can call in to report incidents, attacks, etc. We receive around 30 to 40 calls a month – so that’s 1 a day – and complaints range from the mundane to the serious. They include threats they’ve received, harassment, or even being kicked out of their job.” As well as a hotline, an information form is available on their website, which can be filled out and submitted.

The center has a widespread network of workers and contacts throughout Libya and based in each major city, including Tripoli, Benghazi, and even in Sirte. They also work with partners internationally, including Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Whenever a case is reported to them, they log it into their system and monitor it in case it needs action.

As well as practical help, they offer legal assistance, especially to Libyan journalists in exile – for example, they can give letters of support to confirm who is a journalist and provide research, reports and any additional information to help them. According to Nizar, they only publish any cases of attacks against journalists if the individual is not at further risk.

One of the LCFP’s main priorities now is working to provide hostile environment training to Libyan journalists. The issue of digital security has also become a focus: “There’s been an increasing pattern of  journalists being harassed online, especially on social media sites,” adds Nizar. “Even at checkpoints, many have seen their phones or electronic equipment needlessly checked or confiscated.”

If you’re a freelancer in Libya and in need of emergency help, contact their hotline:
+00218928904342
+00218217182200

Or email them: info@lcfp.org.ly
 
Image credit: LFJL

 

Go to the next page: Assistance organisations for Libyan freelancers

 
Created: March 2016

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