Government authority for monitoring Libyan media content raises fears about independence of the media

The Libyan Prime Minister issued an order naming Jalal Othman as Head of the General Authority for Monitoring Media Content, and Munir Mohammed as his deputy, after the Council of Ministers issued a decision to create an independent body to monitor media content, in implementation of the outputs of the Media Action Committee, which were approved by the Government of National Unity.

The new authority will monitor hate speech and professional breaches related to channels directed to the Libyan audience, through reports that the authority prepares periodically.

A member of the Media Work Committee, Abdul Razzaq Al-Dahesh, explained in a press article that the authority will issue its reports after being approved and voted on by a specialized evaluation board, which looks into all committed professional breaches. The board is headed by a judge and includes in its membership representatives of civil society, the judiciary, journalists, and media workers.

Al-Dahesh added that the board will assess the professional violations referred to it by the head of the General Authority for Monitoring Media Content, and then it will be subject to supervision by the head of the authority, in addition; the board will have complete independence in issuing and adopting its decisions by voting.

The newly created body raises fears that it will be used to stifle the Libyan media and put pressure on their agendas through the broad.

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