Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sayf al-Islam's Media Nationalized

In 2007, Sayf al-Islam Qadhafi, the occasionally estranged son of Libyan dictator Moammar Qadhafi, created several media outlets through his al-Ghad Foundation, outlets which proceeded to expose corruption in the regime. Now they're getting nationalized:
"The channels were launched in the summer of 2007 as Libya's first private-owned media. At the time, the younger Kadhafi intended for the channels to be outspoken and reformative, calling for independence for all the media outlets in the country.

"In a speech given in April 2008, he said that the society must have 'several media establishments that expose corruption, rigging and violations. These establishments have to be independent and not reporting to the Information Minister, the Parliament, the Cabinet, or even to Seif al-Islam.'

"The decision is expected to affect not only the channels, but also several websites that were sponsored by the Al Ghad Foundation like Silvioum, Al-Saiyad and Al-Ijdabi. Popular website Shabab Libya Alghad has not been updated for weeks now.

"Libyan journalist Ibrahim Naaji described these websites as 'very transparent' and able to expose any issue, big or small, to the public.

"'They reported with complete transparency on the violations … committed by officials,' Naaji said. 'Therefore, they had to be silenced. They have been exposed to a war waged by the enemies of reform.'"

(Hat tip: Arabist)



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